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CIO raids home of presidential aide over alleged illegal exit ban case

This file photo shows Lee Gwang-cheol, a presidential secretary for civil affairs and justice. (Yonhap)
This file photo shows Lee Gwang-cheol, a presidential secretary for civil affairs and justice. (Yonhap)
A state anti-corruption probe agency raided the home of a presidential civil affairs secretary on Tuesday over his suspected involvement in an allegedly illegal travel ban on a former justice minister, informed officials said.

Investigators from the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) searched the home of Lee Gwang-cheol, a presidential secretary for civil affairs and justice, to secure evidence related to his charge of abuse of power in allegedly orchestrating an illegal exit ban on former Vice Minister of Justice Kim Hak-ui in 2019 and other illegalities targeting Kim, they said.

The CIO also asked Cheong Wa Dae, the presidential office, to voluntarily submit documents and other materials related to Lee's suspected charges.

The raid came as the CIO intensified its probe into three senior prosecutors also suspected of being involved in the alleged illegal process of imposing an exit ban on Kim.

Kim was stopped at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, from leaving the country in March 2019 as prosecutors sought to reinvestigate allegations that he received sexual favors from a local contractor over a decade ago.

Lee is accused of colluding with Cha Gyu-geun, commissioner of the Korea Immigration Service, and prosecutor Lee Kyu-won to bar Kim from leaving the country with falsified documents. Lee is also suspected of being involved in prosecutor Lee's alleged doctoring of a written testimony from the contractor.

On July 1, Lee was separately indicted by the Suwon District Prosecutors Office on the charge of abuse of power related to Kim's case and he tendered his resignation immediately. However, President Moon Jae-in has yet to accept his resignation. (Yonhap)



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