Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk appeared at the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning Monday.
Cho is accused of wrongly suspending an internal investigation of former Busan Vice Mayor Yoo Jae-soo in 2017, then a senior official at the Financial Services Commission. Yoo, who is detained, was indicted Friday.
Yoon Do-han, senior secretary to the president for public communication, denied that the Blue House stopped the inspection. He said Cho’s office ran the inspection when it had no authority to do so. Yoon said Yoo did not agree to the internal inspection, so the inspection had to stop anyway.
“Whether or not to refer him (Yoo) to any law enforcement authority rests with the civil affairs and justice office,” Yoon said. “Let’s see what prosecutors have to say.” Prosecutors said those in charge of the inspection would be abusing their office if they came to halt an inspection when there was a clear sign of malfeasance.
Yoon also rejected claims that other senior Blue House officials asked the civil affairs and justice office to suspend the inspection of Yoo at the time. But Yoo no standing trial reportedly told prosecutors that he had asked those senior officials to halt the internal probe.
By Choi Si-young (email@example.com