Former MBC president is investigatedProsecutors questioned a former chief of Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation on Monday on suspicions that he helped a previous conservative administration seize control of the public broadcaster by weeding out staff and entertainers critical of the government.
Kim Jae-chul, who headed MBC from 2010 to 2013, appeared at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office at around 9:40 a.m. He is accused of excluding MBC producers and celebrities who were considered unfriendly to the Lee Myung-bak government from TV programs. He has denied any wrongdoing.
“I swear on my life and tell you that MBC is not a company that can be controlled. No one can hold control over it,” he told reporters. “And I have never heard of or received any documents from NIS officials.”
Prosecutors suspect that he carried out the scheme under the direction of the National Intelligence Service (NIS). The spy agency reportedly gave Kim a list of people to be removed in order to “normalize” the broadcasting channel.
During his term, MBC discontinued its signature current affairs program for being politically biased. Many of its TV producers and reporters were sacked or moved to posts unrelated to their fields.