South Korea's presidential office has expressed discontent with the prosecution and the media following a flurry of reports about the death of a former presidential investigator linked to allegations that the top office meddled in last year’s mayoral election in Ulsan.
In a media briefing on Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung brought attention to new guidelines by the Justice Ministry that ban ministry officials and the prosecution from disclosing information related to unindicted criminal suspects.
Ko also cautioned journalists against defaming the deceased with unconfirmed reports and disgracing those implicated in related criminal cases as well as providing the public with inaccurate information.
She stressed that the late former presidential investigator had only dealt with tasks officially assigned to him and those tasks were never related to allegations surrounding former Ulsan Mayor Kim Gi-hyeon.
The ex-presidential office investigator was found dead on Sunday amid a widening prosecutorial probe into allegations the top office ordered police to investigate aides of then-Ulsan Mayor Kim in the run-up to the city's mayoral elections in June 2018.
The prosecution cleared Kim’s aides of all suspicions but not until he lost the election to Song Cheol-ho, who shares a 30-year friendship with President Moon Jae-in.