The monthslong investigation into the Itaewon crowd crush is coming to a close, with police planning to refer Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency chief Kim Kwang-ho and other officials to the prosecution this week for possible indictment.
Kim is expected to be charged with professional negligence in connection with the Oct. 29 tragedy that killed 159 people, mostly those in their 20s. He is expected to be the highest-ranking police official to be held accountable.
Other officials expected to be referred to the prosecution are Choi Seong-beom, chief of the Yongsan Fire Station covering the Itaewon district, and Ryu Mi-jin, former senior emergency monitoring officer at the SMPA.
The investigation team, meanwhile, is expected not to press charges against officials of the interior ministry and the Seoul city government after determining that the responsibility lies with local authorities, rather than the central or the metropolitan government.
The team has judged that police, fire authorities and the ward government of Yongsan have "concrete" responsibility over tragedy. The team is also expected not to bring any charge against National Police Agency Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun.
Officials said the investigation is expected to come to a close before the Lunar New Year holiday. (Yonhap)