Ex-Presidential Secretary Appears for Questioning

  • By Kim A-sa

    November 07, 2016 12:36

    Former presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo, who was in charge of auditing Cheong Wa Dae officials, was questioned for some 15 hours by prosecutors on Sunday and sent home early Monday morning.

    He is accused of embezzlement, abuse of authority and dubious real estate transactions. Prosecutors first started investigating Woo in late August, but he refused to resign until he was finally sacked last week as a massive scandal engulfed President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil.

    On leaving the prosecutors' office, Lee said he told the prosecutors all he knows and disappeared.

    Former presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo glares at reporters on arrival at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Sunday.

    He made no apology, and there are suspicions that he was being treated with kid gloves. He could be spotted taking breaks during questioning and making small talk with prosecutors, and before questioning began he drank tea with the chief prosecutor in charge of the investigation.

    Only some of the suspicions surrounding Woo relate to the crony scandal. He also appears to have run a lively racket of his own, including embezzling W200 million from his family's businesses (US$1=W1,144).

    Former presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo is seen talking with prosecution officials at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Sunday.

    Woo is also accused of using his authority to ensure that his son was assigned as a driver during his mandatory military service, which is considered a cushy assignment.

    Yet prosecutors have already said they will not indict him on either count, and that the current round of questioning has nothing to do with the Choi scandal.

    Critics are therefore baffled why he was being questioned at all and suspect prosecutors are merely trying to score points with the public by summoning him.

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