SKorean lawmaker loses seat over Samsung wiretaps

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 09:30 hrs

A South Korean lawmaker known for criticism of Samsung has forfeited his seat in parliament after the Supreme Court ruled he violated communications laws by publishing incriminating wiretaps of conversations between Samsung officials on the Internet.

South Korea's top court upheld a lower court's conviction of lawmaker Roe Hoe-chan and a suspended prison sentence.

Roh published transcripts of conversations between an aide to Samsung Electronics Co. chairman Lee Kun-hee and Lee's brother-in-law that were recorded by national intelligence agency wiretaps. The conviction disqualifies Roh from being a lawmaker.

Usually South Korean lawmakers are protected by an immunity that allows them to speak freely in the National Assembly.

At issue was whether such immunity applied to the lawmaker's actions in cyberspace. The court ruled that it did not.

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