Warrant request rejected over Wonju sex scandal

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Warrant request rejected over Wonju sex scandal

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday rejected an arrest warrant requested by the police for Kim Hak-eui, former vice minister of the Justice Ministry who disgracefully stepped down from his post in March, citing a lack of evidence on Kim’s alleged illegal acts.

The rejection by the prosecutors followed the arrest warrant requested by the police Tuesday for the former vice Justice Minister, who had been charged by the police with committing multiple acts of rape at a sex party at a vacation home in Wonju, Gangwon.

The ex-vice minister has been investigated by the police for his alleged involvement in a sex-for-influence scandal that prompted him to resign from the No. 2 position at the Justice Ministry just six days after his appointment.

The National Police Agency reported they asked the prosecutors to request an arrest warrant from a court as they believe the 56-year-old Kim had sex with drugged women at the fancy villa owned by a local contractor Yoon Jung-cheon.

The authorities reportedly believe the women were given an aphrodisiac to raise their sexual desire.

The ex-vice minister has been mired in an embarrassing, high-profile sex scandal in which he was suspected of having given business favors to Yoon in return for receiving sexual bribes from him.

Yoon is also suspected of offering sexual entertainment to other influential people, including high-ranking government officials at his Wonju villa to win construction contracts.

Other than Kim, the director of a general hospital and a former executive-level official of the Board of Audit and Inspection are also suspected of taking bribes from Yoon.

It is reported that the police have obtained testimony from women who were used by Yoon for “adult entertainment” at his villa that could prove Kim’s wrongdoing.

Yoon reportedly hired about a dozen women.

The police also said they notified Kim to appear for questioning three times.

But the former prosecutor did not show up for questioning, citing bad health, prompting the police to seek an arrest warrant Tuesday.

Kim is reported to have received an appendectomy last month.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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