[Ferry Disaster] Despair sinks in over Sewol

Arrest warrants sought for officials linked to love child scandal

Arrest warrants sought for officials linked to love child scandal

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Published : 2013-12-13 22:09
Updated : 2013-12-13 22:09

Prosecutors said Friday they were seeking arrest warrants for a presidential staffer and a Seoul district official accused of illegally viewing the personal information of an alleged illegitimate son of the former chief prosecutor.

The presidential staffer, Cho Oh-young, is under suspicion of illegally accessing the information of the 11-year-old boy, including his name, resident registration number, family history and home address, via Cho In-je, a senior official at the Seocho District Office in southern Seoul, in June, prosecutors said.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office said the two violated the Personal Information Protection Act and the Family Relation Registration Act.

Former Prosecutor General Chae Dong-wook was forced to step down from his position in September after a local newspaper raised suspicions that he had fathered a son through an extramarital affair.

The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae said last week that it had removed Cho, the 54-year old staffer at the general affairs team, from his position after confirming his involvement in the case.

The presidential office, however, denied involvement of any higher-ranking officials, saying Cho was a technician-level staffer and no other officials of the top office were found to have been involved.

However, the findings could deepen suspicions that the presidential office engineered Chae's removal for aggressively pursuing an investigation into the alleged state tampering in last year's presidential election.

The prosecution office at the time was probing whether the state intelligence agency had interfered in the Dec. 19 presidential race by posting numerous online messages in favor of President Park Geun-hye, the then ruling Saenuri Party candidate.

Cho Oh-young initially claimed to have acted at the request of a 49-year-old Ministry of Security and Public Administration official, only identified by his surname Kim.

Cho, however, has recently changed his testimony but did not disclose further details on who made the request, according to the prosecutors.

The Seoul Central District Court is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday to decide whether to issue arrest warrants for the two, court officials said. (Yonhap News)

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