S. Korea's former spy chief in jail for graft: Report

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea's former spy chief was detained on Wednesday over allegations that he accepted bribes from a construction company in return for peddling influence, a report said.

Won Sei Hoon, the former director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), was held after a court issued an arrest warrant requested by prosecutors, Yonhap news agency reported.

The 62-year-old is suspected of having received some 150 million won (S$169,500) in cash and expensive gifts from Hwang Bo Yeon, the head of now-bankrupt Hwangbo Construction, it said.

In return, prosecutors believe Mr Won peddled his influence to help the company win construction projects, Yonhap said.

Mr Won, who served as the country's spy chief under former President Lee Myung Bak, is on trial on separate charges of meddling in last year's presidential election.

Mr Won denied the charges, but prosecutors accuse him of breaking a law that bans NIS staff from intervening in politics.

Several days before the presidential election on December 19, allegations that NIS agents were trying to manipulate voters online emerged, sparking a police probe.