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[Newsmaker] Police investigating online leak of sex abuse complaint against late Seoul mayor

Korean National Police Agency (Yonhap)
Korean National Police Agency (Yonhap)

Police said Friday they have opened an investigation into the possible leak of a complaint memo detailing sexual misconduct accusations against the recently deceased mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon.

The “Park Won-soon memo” has circulated on social media sites shortly after police confirmed on the evening of July 9 that Park was being accused of sexual abuse by one of his secretaries.

Several local media outlets reported Friday that police have zeroed in on a potential suspect behind the online leak as a pastor of the church of which the former secretary and her family are members. Her family reportedly told police they had confided the contents of the complaint with the pastor, seeking advice.

Police said they were unable to confirm how the memo made its way online or whether it was an actual police document until the probe is concluded.

In a news conference Wednesday, representatives of the ex-secretary said at the heart of the burgeoning controversy is if and how the police complaint became known to the mayor himself, as well as to Cheong Wa Dae.

The nominee for the central police agency chief said during a confirmation hearing Monday that police had briefed the presidential office about the complaint, reversing an initial denial.

Some have linked Park’s death to the sexual abuse claims, which were not known to the public before the very day he died.

The ex-secretary went to police with the accusations on July 8, according to her lawyer Kim Jae-ryon, a day before Park took his own life.

On Wednesday, police said they were able to unlock Park’s mobile phone, in the latest development in the investigation into suspicions surrounding the late mayor that is expected to “offer clues to major questions.”

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)
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