Two South Korean government officials were handed suspended six-month prison sentences today for their involvement in a scandal relating to the city of Gwangju's successful bid to stage swimming's 2019 FINA World Championships.
The city was awarded the event by FINA, the sport's international governing body, last July.
Bid committee director Kim Yoon-seok and a female official identified by the surname Han were indicted for forging the signatures of former prime minister Kim Hwang-sik and former culture minister Choe Kwang-sik in documents that guaranteed government aid for the event.
The prosecution had demanded jail sentences of up to one and a half years for the pair.
The Gwangju District Prosecutors' Office said in a statement after the verdict: "Although we found the defendants guilty, we took into consideration that they did not act upon their personal interests or greed and the forged documents were immediately replaced causing no additional harm. We also took into account their effort to win the bids to host the 2015 Gwangju Universiade as well as the Aquatics Championships and the request from the president of FINA to give favorable consideration [to the defendants]."
Last month, Kim Jae-won of the ruling Saenuri Party proposed a bill that requires local governments to gain National Assembly approval before they bid for international sporting events costing Won10 billion ($9.3 million) or more.