Published : 2013-09-16 16:41
Updated : 2013-09-16 16:41
An opposition lawmaker claimed Monday that a senior presidential secretary had colluded with a top intelligence official to spy on Prosecutor General Chae Dong-wook, suggesting they had masterminded the scandal over Chae's alleged illegitimate son.
Rep. Park Jie-won of the main opposition Democratic Party raised the allegations at a meeting of the parliamentary legislative and judiciary committee, claiming Chae was put under constant surveillance during the month of August.
The scandal surrounding allegations that Chae fathered an illegitimate son in 2002 emerged early this month, prompting Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn to order an internal inspection into the case.
That order is widely believed to have prompted Chae to offer his resignation last Friday, although he has insisted on his innocence.
According to Park, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Kwak Sang-do had colluded with the second deputy chief of the National Intelligence Service to spy on Chae. When Kwak was removed from office early last month in a reshuffle of the presidential office, he handed over all relevant files to secretary for civil affairs Lee Joong-hee to carry on with the surveillance.
Lee shared the files with a senior prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, Park said, adding that the secretary had told the prosecutor that Chae would "soon be gone."
The lawmaker also claimed that the Supreme Public Prosecutors'
Office ordered an internal inspection after it discovered that the prosecutor, Kim Kwang-soo, had had frequent phone conversations with the presidential secretary.
The opposition party has questioned the truth of the scandal, suspecting the government of trying to remove Chae from office for pushing ahead with an investigation into allegations that the spy agency meddled in last year's presidential election in favor of then candidate and now President Park Geun-hye. (Yonhap News)