Ex-MBC chief quizzed over alleged role in past government's scheme to control TV network

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 6, 2017 - 10:43
  • Updated : Nov 6, 2017 - 10:43

Prosecutors questioned a former chief of MBC on Monday on suspicions that he helped a previous conservative administration to seize control of the public broadcaster by weeding out staff and entertainers critical of the government.

Kim Jae-chul, who headed MBC from 2010-2013, appeared at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office at around 9:40 a.m.

He is accused of excluding MBC producers and celebrities from TV programs considered unfriendly to the Lee Myung-bak government. 

Former MBC President Kim Jae-chul makes a gesture of denial as he is questioned by reporters at the prosecutors` office in southern Seoul on Oct. 30, 2017, about allegations that he worked with the spy agency to help the former Lee Myung-bak government control public media. (Yonhap)

Prosecutors suspect that he carried out the scheme under the direction of the National Intelligence Service. The spy agency reportedly gave Kim a list of people to be removed in order to "normalize" the broadcasting channel.

During his term, MBC discontinued its signature current affairs program for being politically biased. Many of its TV producers and reporters were sacked or moved to posts unrelated to their fields.

The prosecution said it is considering requesting an arrest warrant for Kim on charges of abuse of power in violation of NIS law.

Kim has denied any wrongdoing. (Yonhap)