Prosecutors on Friday searched the premises of a builder suspected of getting improper assistance from Kim Tae-woo, a former investigator with the presidential office, during the course of a bribery investigation.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office sent prosecutors and investigators to the office and residence of Choi, who runs a company that builds soundproof tunnels, and obtained hard disks and data concerning the circumstances of Choi’s selection as a contractor for the Korea Expressway Corp.
Choi’s case was referred to the prosecution early this month after a police investigation into allegations that he gave 11 million won to an official at the Ministry of Land and Transport in 2006 in a bid to win a construction order.
Choi had been given a suspended sentence of eight months in jail for giving a total of 50 million won to the ministry’s senior officials between 2006 and 2008 during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, hoping a private consortium of which he was a member would win orders.
Kim, who played golf with Choi, was found to have visited the National Police Agency early last month to ask about the ongoing investigation into Choi, while Choi was being questioned in the adjacent room.
Kim was then removed from the Cheong Wa Dae post last month and sent back to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, from which he had been dispatched, for allegedly violating regulations.
On Wednesday, Cheong Wa Dae filed a criminal complaint against Kim Tae-woo, a former member of its inspection bureau overseen by Senior Secretary for Civil Affairs Cho Kuk, accusing Kim of making false accusations and spreading information gained as part of his official duties.
Since being removed from Cheong Wa Dae, Kim has insisted that he was targeted by the presidential office for gathering information disadvantageous to the Moon Jae-in administration.
Kim’s case was handed over from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office to the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office on Friday.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org