Arrest sought for key figure in surveillance case
By Na Jeong-ju
The prosecution requested an arrest warrant for a former staff member of the Prime Minister’s Office Sunday for engaging in illegal monitoring of citizens critical of the government from 2008 to 2010.
Jin Kyung-rak, 45, also faces charges of embezzling government money to pay Cheong Wa Dae officials in connection with the surveillance activities.
If Jin is arrested, he would be the third former public official to be put behind bars in connection with the probe into the illegal surveillance scandal.
Former presidential secretary for labor Lee Young-ho and Choi Jong-seok, a former Cheong Wa Dae staffer, are currently in custody for their involvement.
Their arrest was part of a widening probe into the presidential office’s alleged covering up of the surveillance case and destroying related evidence.
Following an initial probe in 2010, the prosecution indicted only seven low-ranking civil servants, including Jin, for the illegal monitoring of citizens.
It said at the time that there wasn’t any evidence suggesting Cheong Wa Dae’s involvement, drawing criticism from opposition parties.
In the face of mounting public calls to get to the bottom of the case, the prosecution reopened the investigation in March.
The scandal returned to the spotlight after Chang Jin-soo, another former PMO staffer, revealed that he had worked with then-presidential secretary Lee to gather intelligence on citizens critical of the government. Chang also claimed that he was pressured to conceal the participation of the presidential office and get rid of related evidence.