A local court rejected requests for arrest warrants for two former Supreme Court justices over their alleged involvement in a power abuse scandal under the leadership of former top court chief Yang Sung-tae.
The Seoul Central District Court on Friday turned down prosecutors' warrant requests for Park Byong-dae and Ko Young-han, who face charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice, among others.
The warrant requests for Park and Ko were reviewed by two different judges, but they dismissed them citing there is room for questions about the scope of the suspects' involvement and collusion in the alleged crimes.
The judges also said it's hard to acknowledge the need to place the suspects in custody considering that extensive evidence has already been collected and there is little risk that they will destroy evidence.
Park and Ko, the former National Court Administration chiefs, are accused of interfering in trials in order to lobby the presidential office of then President Park Geun-hye for the establishment of a separate court of appeals, led by Yang.
They are also suspected of blacklisting judges critical of the court administration or certain trial proceedings between 2014 and 2017.