SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- A secretary to a former parliamentary speaker was acquitted Tuesday on charges of launching a cyber attack on the national election watchdog's Web site during Seoul's mayoral by-election last October.
Overturning a lower court's ruling of a five-year prison term, the Seoul High Court delivered a not-guilty verdict for the 31-year-old protocol secretary to the former National Assembly Speaker Park Hee-tae, only known by his surname Kim.
Kim, however, remained in jail as he has received an eight-month prison term in a separate appeals ruling for wrongful exercise of authority charges.
The court also reduced the jail sentence for a 28-year-old aide to then ruling Saenuri Party lawmaker Choi Cu-sik, surnamed Kong, from five years to four, for masterminding the so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the Web site of the National Election Commission (NEC) on the election day.
"There is not enough evidence that Kim and Kong colluded to launch DDoS attacks," Judge Kim Dong-oh said in his ruling. "It is difficult to deem that Kim participated in the crime just because he talked on the phone with Kong several times on the morning of the DDoS attack day."
Two computer specialists, only identified with the initials K, also received prison terms for executing the attacks.
Since the incident was revealed, opposition parties have raised suspicions that the Saenuri Party masterminded the attacks to block Park Won-soon, then liberal-minded candidate, from winning the mayorship of Seoul.
Police, however, concluded in December of last year that the aides, after hiring computer specialists, launched the attack without any directions from the ruling party.
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