A Seoul court questioned a former top aide to former President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday as it considered whether to approve an arrest warrant for him on charges of involvement in the military's attempts to meddle in the 2012 presidential election.
Kim Tae-hyo, a Sungkyunkwan University professor who served as a senior secretary to Lee, is accused of involvement with the military cyber command's operations to write Internet comments to sway public opinion in favor of then ruling party candidate Park Geun-hye.
Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for Kim last Friday, and the Seoul Central District Court questioned him Tuesday. The court is expected to decide whether to approve the arrest warrant request either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday.
Prosecutors suspect that Kim delivered Lee's messages to the military, including an instruction to hire "our people," which apparently refers to those friendly to his administration, when increasing the number of civilian employees of the cyber command.
Kim is also suspected of ordering the cyber command to post Internet comments positive about the government and the ruling party but negative about opposition parties. When leaving office, he also allegedly took military documents and presidential records with him without permission.
Kim has denied the charges against him, claiming that he was never involved in the military's political interference and that the increase in the number of civilian employees in the cyber command was part of cyberwarfare against North Korea.
The investigation of Kim is considered a final step toward ultimately investigating Lee. The former president has recently categorically denied any knowledge or involvement in the military's alleged political interference. (Yonhap)