Document leak probe moves up food chain [2014/12/24 09:41]

The prosecution on Sunday questioned Lee Jae-man, the presidential administrative secretary, and readied to summon the president`s brother Park Ji-man in the expanding case surrounding Chung Yoon-hoi. Chung is a former aide of President Park Geun-hye who is alleged to have meddled in state affairs. The allegations, which had floated around for some time as rumors, sparked off an investigation following news reports citing intelligence reports compiled by Cheong Wa Dae.

The already convoluted scandal took an unexpected turn on Saturday when a key suspect committed suicide claiming his innocence. The suspect, a police inspector identified by the surname Choi, is accused of leaking Cheong Wa Dae documents in possession of Superintendent Park Gwan-cheon to the media. Park served in the presidential office until February, and the presidential office had initially accused him of being the main culprit.

Choi was found dead in his car in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province on Saturday. He had been released from custody on Friday. According to his family, who have requested an autopsy, Choi left a 14-page note claiming his innocence. The officer`s brother has also claimed that Choi told him that the investigation was being conducted “like a puzzle” and that the prosecution was being controlled by Cheong Wa Dae.

The prosecution, however, has said that the note did not mention the investigation and only contained Choi`s feelings toward his family.

As for its questioning of Lee Jae-man, the prosecution said that he was summoned as a plaintiff, and that other presidential aides have not yet been summoned. Following the initial news report, Lee and a number of presidential aides filed a criminal complaint against the daily Segye Ilbo that broke the story.

Since the investigation began, accusations have been flying between the concerned parties including Cheong Wa Dae, Chung, and those suspected of having had a hand in writing and leaking the documents in question. Cheong Wa Dae has since claimed that former presidential aide Cho Eung-cheon masterminded the developments. One of Cho`s former subordinates, however, has claimed that Cheong Wa Dae`s audit team tried to force him to sign false accounts of the events that placed the blame on Cho.

Regarding Park Ji-man, the prosecution plans to question him as a reference witness. The president`s brother is rumored to have been engaged in a power struggle with Chung, and of having close relations with Cho and others Cheong Wa Dae accuses of manipulating the events that set off the investigation.
출처: 헤럴드미디어 영자신문 코리아헤럴드 (www.koreaherald.com)