Prosecutors on Friday sought an arrest warrant for former Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung on allegations that her ministry had pressured heads of public organizations picked by preceding governments to resign.
The Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors' Office said that it requested the writ for her alleged abuse of authority and interference with others' exercise of their rights.
Kim, who led the ministry from July 2017 to November 2018, reportedly denies the allegations.
Kim Eun-kyung (Yonhap)
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party has raised the suspicion that her ministry had listed high-level officials of ministry-affiliated entities to apparently pressure them to leave office and create jobs for those close to the Moon Jae-in administration.
The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said that it expects a "balanced" court decision on the request for the warrant.
"We will watch the court judgment on the extent of a minister's authority for personnel management and oversight authority," Kim Eui-kyeom, the presidential spokesman, said in a text message sent to reporters.