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Ex-special investigator files complaint against Cheong Wa Dae officials over spying claims

A former special investigator at the presidential office filed a complaint against an incumbent presidential secretary Thursday amid an ongoing probe into Cheong Wa Dae’s alleged surveillance of civilians.


Kim Tae-woo, who was dismissed from Cheong Wa Dae, appeared before the prosecution as a witness for the third time to be questioned over allegations that his superiors at the presidential office had instructed him to surveil civilians and to create a blacklist of officials critical of the Moon administration.

The presidential office has denied the accusations.

Kim filed a complaint against a presidential secretary for anti-corruption, Park Hyoung-chul, and a former head of Cheong Wa Dae’s special inspection team, Lee In-geol, accusing them of dereliction of duty.

“I am considering filing additional complaints about irregularities by Cheong Wa Dae,” Kim said before heading into the building of the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors’ Office.

Cheong Wa Dae has said Kim holds a grudge against the presidential office following his dismissal over his own irregularities. It filed a complaint against Kim for leaking to local media outlets classified information that he had collected while working as a special inspector between July 2017 and November 2018.

President Moon Jae-in said Thursday said there were no illegal acts committed by the inspection team under his administration, saying the ongoing investigation would lay bare the truth behind the allegations.

Kim, however, said he was unfairly punished for reporting bribery allegations involving a high-ranking official close to the Moon administration.

Kim was sent back to his original post at the prosecution after being dismissed from the presidential office.

The prosecution’s inspection team had asked its disciplinary committee to remove him from the post, saying he received bribes and attempted to sway police investigations in favor of his acquaintance.

The committee is to confirm whether he deserves to be dismissed and, if so, the level of punishment for Kim.