SEOUL, July 28 (Yonhap) -- Rival parties agreed Sunday to resume the crippled parliamentary investigation into the spy agency's meddling with last year's presidential election, in a move to break the stalemate over the highly sensitive issue.
The scandal centers on allegations that former chief of National Intelligence Service (NIS), Won Sei-hoon, ordered an online smear campaign to sway public opinion in favor of the ruling Saenuri Party ahead of last December's presidential election.
A parliamentary hearing was scheduled to be held last Friday, but the ruling party boycotted the meeting as it wrangled with opposition parties over whether it should be open to the public.
After rounds of negotiations over the weekend, ruling and opposition parties of the special investigation committee reached an agreement on later Sunday to receive a briefing from NIS officials at the National Assembly on Aug. 5.
The committee will hold hearings on Aug. 7-8, party officials said, noting that discussions are currently under way to confirm the list of witnesses and references.
The ruling party has argued that the hearing should be held behind closed doors because it is likely to touch on sensitive intelligence issues as lawmakers question incumbent NIS chief Nam Jae-joon and other officials of the spy agency in connection with the scandal.
Opposition parties have insisted that the hearing be open to the public so as to ensure its transparency.
A parliamentary probe has been under way since early this month to determine the truth behind those allegations.
If held, the upcoming hearing would be the first time for the parliamentary investigative committee to question NIS officials in connection with the case.