The Korea Herald


Police execute arrest warrant to quiz Druking

By Kim So-hyun

Published : May 10, 2018 - 17:12

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Police obtained arrest warrants to interrogate on Thursday a blogger at the center of an online opinion rigging scandal as he has been refusing to be questioned.

Kim Dong-won, known by his online alias “Druking,” was detained and indicted last month for allegedly using software in January to jack up the number of “likes” for two internet comments critical of the Moon Jae-in administration on news stories carried by internet portal Naver.

After being interrogated twice on April 17 and 19 at the Seoul Detention Center, Kim has refused police questioning three times since May 3.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on Wednesday requested two arrest warrants to force him to undergo questioning, a rare move for a suspect who is already in custody.

The power blogger, aka The power blogger, aka "Druking," charged over an alleged massive manipulation of online comments in news articles, is escorted by police in Seoul on May 10, to be questioned over fresh graft allegations in connection with a ruling party lawmaker. (Yonhap)

The court issued the warrants on charges of violation of an anti-solicitation law and obstruction of business, respectively.

Druking allegedly paid 5 million won ($4,644) to an aide of Rep. Kim Kyoung-soo of the ruling Democratic Party after asking the lawmaker to get two of his acquaintances appointed to government positions following the presidential election last year.

“We applied for two separate warrants because we can’t investigate the (alleged) violation of the anti-solicitation law with a warrant for obstruction of business,” a police official said.

Druking is already standing trial on charges of obstruction of business for the alleged opinion manipulation using a macro program.

The SMPA’s Sophisticated Crime Investigation Unit executed the arrest warrant by apprehending Kim to the unit’s headquarters on Thursday for interrogation.

The unit is investigating allegations that Kim paid Rep. Kim’s aide in regard to his request for job favors.

On Friday, the SMPA’s Cyber Security Division will execute the other arrest warrant by taking Kim to the SMPA headquarters for questioning.

Police said on Wednesday they may summon Rep. Kim again for interrogation after finding files indicating that members of an online community led by Druking donated a total of 27 million won to the legislator in November 2016.

Police are looking into whether Druking and his team engaged in online opinion rigging months before last year’s presidential election after they found a USB at the residence of Druking’s associate containing links to some 90,000 internet news articles published between October 2016 and March of this year.

Opposition parties are demanding an independent counsel probe into the opinion rigging scandal, suspecting that Druking, a former DP member who once supported Moon, may have been involved in Moon’s election campaign.

By Kim So-hyun (