December 14, 2016 10:45
Former senior presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo is reportedly willing to come out of hiding and testify in the National Assembly on Dec. 22.
Woo, whose job it would have been to audit Cheong Wa Dae staff, is accused of a leading role in trying to cover up the crony scandal that has engulfed President Park Geun-hye.
He missed the first hearing last week, telling reporters he keeps in touch with that presidential secretaries "traditionally do not make public remarks related to their duty."
But he added that repeated requests from the National Assembly persuaded him to "respond faithfully to parliamentary questioning."
Woo denied suspicions that he has gone on the lam, saying it was "unbearable" for him to deal with the throngs of reporters camped out in front of his house all day since he quit his job at Cheong Wa Dae on Nov. 30.
The National Assembly was unable to deliver a summons to Woo late last month because his whereabouts were unknown. The summons must be delivered in person to be effective, and there were suspicions that Woo dodged it deliberately.
Earlier Woo, a former prosecutor himself, was given a suspiciously easy ride by prosecutors when they finally brought him in for questioning, and was seen having tea with the chief prosecutor and chatting amiably with his questioners during breaks.
Some opposition wags made wanted posters online offering a reward for any information regarding his whereabouts, which has gone up to some W15 million with contributions from private citizens (US$1=W1,169).
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