Acting prosectuor-general orders investigation into conflict over election meddling probe
Acting Prosecutor-General Gil Tae-ki on Tuesday ordered an investigation into an apparent internal conflict
between a special task force investigating the spy agency's alleged meddling in last year's presidential election and its superiors.
Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol, who headed the spy agency probe, was removed from the task force last Friday.
According to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, Yoon was expelled for overseeing raids on the homes of four NIS officials and detaining three of them without permission from his superiors.
However, Yoon said at a parliamentary audit Monday that he did report his plan to his superior, Cho Young-gon, the chief of the Seoul office.
Yoon said he went to Cho's house on the night of October 15th to discuss adding a new charge to the indictment of former spy agency chief Won Sei-hoon, a highly sensitive decision.
Yoon also said that, through raids and questioning the NIS officials, his team had discovered that the spy agency used Twitter for a smear campaign against Democratic Party candidate Moon Jae-in and independent Ahn Cheol-soo in the run-up to the presidential election last year.
Won was indicted in June on charges of ordering an anti-Moon campaign on the Internet and is currently on trial.
"My superiors are supposed to help the investigation move forward but they kept nitpicking at smaller details. I know that is necessary, but if the people who are investigating the case feel it wasn't fair and crossed the line then we can only regard it as external political pressure."
Yoon's superior Cho said, however, that Yoon never officially asked for his authorization.
"Reporting is a crucial part of the decision-making process, and I felt that Yoon's way of reporting this wasn't proper. I just told him I would consider his plan."
The prosecution will make a final decision by October 30th on whether to accept the results of Yoon's investigation and add them to the indictment of the former NIS director.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.
Reporter : email@example.com