Prison term for former South Korea spy chief

SEOUL (AFP) - A South Korean court on Wednesday sentenced the former head of the country's domestic spy agency to two years in prison for taking bribes.

Won Sei Hoon, who resigned in March last year after four years at the head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), was convicted of accepting 160 million won (S$191,520) in bribes from the former head of a construction company while in office.

"Heavy punishment is inevitable because the nature of the crime is severe," Seoul Central District Court judge Lee Bum Kyun said in pronouncing sentence on Wednesday.

In a separate case, the 63-year-old spy chief faces charges of meddling in the 2012 presidential election by allegedly organising an online smear campaign against the opposition party candidate.

The court is scheduled to deliver a verdict for the second charge in February, court officials said.