Send to

Prosecution to begin probe into ex-first lady's trip to India

June 17, 2024 - 10:39 By Yonhap
Former President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook pay tribute to the late former President Roh Moo-hyun during a memorial service marking the 14th year since his death at Bongha Village in the southeastern city of Gimhae on May 23, 2023. (Yonhap)

Prosecutors have begun an investigation into allegations that former President Moon Jae-in's wife, Kim Jung-sook, spent a large sum of taxpayer money to fund her solo trip to India in 2018, prosecution officials said Monday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office plans to call in Lee Jong-bae, a Seoul city councilor affiliated with the ruling People Power Party, as an accuser on Wednesday, as he filed a complaint against Kim last December.

The councilor accused the former first lady of abuse of power and loss of the national coffers related to her India trip, arguing Kim wasted 400 million won (about $290,000) in state funds for her junket to the Taj Mahal in India.

The controversy, which also surrounds Kim's use of a presidential plane for the India visit, was recently reignited after Moon described the trip as the "first solo diplomacy by the first lady" based on an invitation by the Indian government.

Prosecutors are also expected to investigate other allegations involving Kim, including acceptance of a luxury jacket and swimming lessons taken from a presidential guard, as Lee filed simultaneous complaints over those suspicions. (Yonhap)