Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Senior South Korean officials responsible for blacklisting artists and filmmakers may soon face prison sentences for their actions in former President Park Geun-hye's administration, if prosecutors win their case again Kim Ki-choon and Cho Yoon-sun.
Separate teams of South Korean prosecutors are requesting a seven-year prison sentence for Presidential Chief of Staff Kim and a six-year term for Cho, the former minister of culture and tourism, EDaily reported Tuesday.
Special prosecutor Park Young-soo described the defendants' wrongdoing as an "intentional crime against the spirit of the South Korean constitution," and a "fundamentally unjustifiable" crime against the state.
A final verdict is to follow on Jan. 23, EDaily reported.
Prosecutors condemned the blacklist and a policy of "ostracizing artists and creative talent as pro-North Korean based solely on their differing political views and criticisms" of the Park government.
The defendants "carried out what used to be done during the military dictatorship of the past," the prosecution said.
Their actions "destroyed" the democracy that was guarded by the South Korean people for 30 years, they added.
Kim's legal counsel defended the blacklist, and said "80-90 percent" of funds for the arts have "in the last 10 years been allocated to leftists," Newsis reported Tuesday.
Redistribution cannot be "called the root of accumulated evils," Kim's attorney said.
Both defendants offered statements of apology.
Cho, 51, said Tuesday if "heaven allows" she would "return to that moment when the blacklist was being approved ... to do more to prevent it from becoming official."