Prosecutors Indict Ex-Minister, Fmr. Presidential Aide in Blacklist Probe

Write : 2019-04-25 15:15:07 Update : 2019-04-25 15:48:22

Prosecutors Indict Ex-Minister, Fmr. Presidential Aide in Blacklist Probe

Anchor: Prosecutors have referred an ex-minister and a former presidential secretary to trial without detention, for their unlawful interference in personnel reshuffles at government agencies.
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: The Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors' Office on Thursday indicted former Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung and former presidential secretary for balanced personnel affairs Shin Mi-sook without detention on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of business.

Kim and Shin are accused of forcing dozens of officials from Environment Ministry-affiliated organizations to resign in order to replace them with pro-government figures and ordering an audit of those who refused to step down.

They are also suspected of unlawfully intervening in the process of selecting and screening new auditor candidates at the ministry-affiliated Korea Environment Corporation in order to appoint a pro-government figure identified by his surname Park.

When Park was eliminated from the candidate selection process, prosecutors believe that Shin forced a ministry official in charge of personnel affairs to write a statement apologizing for Park's disqualification and vowing to take responsibility.

The two former officials later allegedly interfered in appointing Park to head another organization linked to the ministry.

Both Kim and Shin are reportedly denying all the allegations.  

The so-called blacklist probe was launched last December after the main opposition Liberty Korea Party filed a complaint, accusing the former environment minister and presidential aides of interfering in personnel reshuffles at ministry-affiliated agencies.

While prosecutors had previously considered summoning senior presidential secretary for personnel affairs Cho Hyun-ok to probe whether there was an order from higher-ups, they are believed to have lacked sufficient evidence to summon her. 

Prosecutors, meanwhile, decided not to seek charges against senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Cho Kuk, former presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok and two other officials over the top office's alleged surveillance of private citizens.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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