LKP asks for charges against Moon’s top aides
Among the accused are President Moon Jae-in’s Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok, senior secretary for civil affairs Cho Kuk and secretary for anti-corruption Park Hyoung-chul.
The LKP has also raised accusations against a former prosecutor and Kim & Chang attorney who led the Blue House special inspection bureau under Park’s office as well as Kim Tae-wu, a bureau member whose whistle-blowing has rocked the Moon Blue House. The LKP’s complaint was filed a day after the Blue House submitted its own complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office under Im’s name, seeking criminal charges against Kim for leaking confidential Blue House information to the press.
Rep. Na Kyung-won, the LKP’s new floor leader, urged the Blue House on Thursday not to make “lame, illogical excuses” about the scandal and come clean. Na, a former judge, said that she would keep close tabs on the prosecution to see “which way they aim their sword” in the investigation into the Blue House’s allegations against Kim.
LKP Rep. Choi Gyo-il lashed out at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s decision to refer the Blue House’s complaint to the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office in Seongnam, Gyeonggi. He accused the prosecution of trying to scale back the probe in order to avoid getting on the wrong side of the Blue House. Choi called on the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office to form a special team to thoroughly dig into its accusations against the top echelons of Moon’s Blue House.
Earlier on Thursday, Prosecutor General Moon Moo-il ordered the Blue House’s complaint against Kim to be sent to the Suwon office, a spokesman for the prosecution said, considering the fact that Kim currently works at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office as an investigator. Kim lives in southern Gyeonggi, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office, the spokesman said. Kim worked as an investigator at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office before he was temporarily dispatched to the Blue House special inspection bureau in July 2017. Last month, he was fired from the team on allegations of unlawfully interfering in a police investigation that involved his acquaintance.
Kim’s war against the Blue House started last Friday, when he told local broadcaster SBS that he thinks he was fired for authoring a report that accused Korean Ambassador to Russia Woo Yoon-keun of taking a 10 million won ($8,900) bribe in 2009 from a businessman who asked him to pull strings to help a family member land a job. At the time, Woo was serving as a Democratic Party (DP) lawmaker. The Blue House sent Kim back to his original post at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office.
Since then, prosecutors there have been investigating him over allegations he interfered in a police investigation, golfed with a KT executive who informed Kim about misconduct allegedly committed by an official at the Ministry of Science and ICT and applied for a job at the Science Ministry when he was supposed to monitor the ministry for possible corruption.
In a telephone interview with the JoongAng Ilbo on Thursday, Kim threatened “side effects” in case prosecutors arrest him because he says his revelations are true.
In contrast to the Blue House’s adamant denial, Kim said he was specifically ordered by his superiors to compile reports on private citizens and that his colleagues at the Blue House inspection bureau were given similar orders as well.
“[The Blue House] wouldn’t have been so outraged if my accounts were false,” Kim said.
Kim also countered a Blue House claim that it ordered Kim not to file reports about the local media by saying he wouldn’t have made so many reports over the past 15 months if he were told not to.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN, KIM KI-JEONG AND HYUN IL-HOON [firstname.lastname@example.org]