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[Newsmaker] Travel ban slapped on Mongolian judge accused of sexual misconduct

Judge Dorj Odbayar (center). (Yonhap)
Judge Dorj Odbayar (center). (Yonhap)
Police said Thursday they have placed a travel ban on Dorj Odbayar, head of Mongolia’s Constitutional Court who is accused of groping a Korean flight attendant and verbally abusing a Mongolian crew member during a flight from Ulaanbaatar to Incheon on Oct. 31.

“We feel confident that Odbayar’s charges are clear and well founded. We will hand him over to the prosecution on Friday or some time definitely before Nov. 15, when the 10-day travel ban expires,” an Incheon Metropolitan Policy Agency official told The Korea Herald.

On Wednesday, police arrested Odbayar when he arrived at Incheon Airport in the morning on a stop-over en route to Mongolia from Indonesia. Odbayar denied most of the charges at Wednesday’s questioning.

Odbayar and his colleague are accused of sexually harassing separate members of the Korean flight crew and were initially turned over to police on Oct. 31. Upon their release, Odbayar flew to Indonesia, and his colleague departed for Singapore.

Police released them on grounds of diplomatic immunity, but later changed position after the Foreign Ministry said they are not entitled to that privilege because they are not foreign diplomats stationed in Korea.

Police said they will apprehend Odbayar’s colleague upon his entry to Korea, adding they are coordinating with the Mongolian Embassy here to facilitate his return.

By Choi Si-young (