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Second arrest warrant sought for prosecutor in sex scandal

Prosecutors requested a second warrant Tuesday to arrest an assistant prosecutor accused of having sex with a criminal suspect he was questioning, after their first request was rejected the day before.

The prosecutors are seeking to charge him with bribery this time again, claiming the woman provided sex in return for favors.

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office arrested the 30-year-old junior prosecutor surnamed Jeon without a warrant on Saturday for questioning into allegations he had sexual activity with a 42-year-old female suspect while questioning her about a theft case on Nov. 10. He is also suspected of having sex with the suspect at a motel two days after their first exchange.

Prosecutors filed for a formal arrest warrant on Monday but a Seoul court dismissed the request, saying there is not enough evidence to support the claim.

The woman has claimed the two also had sex on Nov. 10 in an interrogation room of the Seoul prosecution office, according to her lawyer, which Jeon has denied.

Jeon, however, recently retracted his earlier statement and admitted to having sex that day, according to other prosecution sources.

The woman has since submitted six recordings depicting the incidents to the audit division of the SPO.

The unfolding sex scandal is adding to public criticism of the prosecution as it came on the heels of a scandal centering on allegations that a senior prosecutor took massive bribes.

Kim Kwang-joon was arrested for receiving a total of nearly 900 million won ($826,000) from Cho Hee-pal, the mastermind of South Korea's biggest pyramid scheme, and the Eugene Group, a mid-sized conglomerate, in exchange for influence peddling.

Jeon, after being assigned as a prosecutor at the Gwangju District Prosecutors' Office in March, participated in a three-month training program in Seoul. He is a first-generation graduate of the country's law school, which was first implemented in 2009.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor-General Han Sang-dae will announce a set of reform measures and issue another apology later this week, according to prosecution officials on Tuesday.

The announcement, scheduled for Friday, comes just 11 days after Han offered his apology over Kim's bribery scandal.

The measures include reducing the prosecution's investigative powers and granting more investigative rights to the police while having prosecutors devoted to the process of indicting, according to sources at the prosecution.

The SPO is also discussing the possibility of abolishing the powerful central investigation unit of the SPO, which handles high-profile corruption cases, or creating an independent investigative body to probe corruption among relatives of the president and senior government officials, they added. (Yonhap News)

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