The Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials, or CIO, has launched an investigation into former chief prosecutor Yoon Seok-youl on power abuse allegations.
According to sources in legal circles on Thursday, the CIO last Friday began the probe into the potential presidential candidate on charges of abuse of authority and obstruction of justice.
Investigators are said to be looking into why the prosecution dropped charges against the scandalous hedge fund Optimus Asset Management in 2019 when Yoon was the head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.
Alongside the financial fraud scandal, the CIO is also reportedly looking into suspicions that Yoon interfered in the investigation into prosecutors related to the false testimony in the 2011 bribery trial for former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook.
Yoon consistently had conflicts with the ruling camp over its law enforcement reform campaign and his much publicized feuds with the Moon Jae-in administration’s justice ministers earned him a controversial potential for president.
The 60-year old former prosecutor general stepped down in March this year, criticizing the ruling party for its stringent push to reform the prosecution.
In a bid to curtail the power of the prosecution and to prevent its political alliances with those in power, the Moon administration created the CIO, which is tasked with investigating high-profile corruption cases.