Arrest Warrant Sought for Presidential Flunkey Who Led Cover-up

  • By Kim A-sa

    February 20, 2017 12:32

    Former senior presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo arrives at the independent counsel's office in Seoul on Saturday. /Newsis

    Independent counsel Park Young-soo on Sunday sought an arrest warrant for former senior presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo on charges of abuse of power, dereliction of duty, and other offenses related to the massive corruption scandal centered on President Park Geun-hye.

    A court will decide on Tuesday.

    Woo was questioned for 19 hours on Saturday. A spokesman for the independent counsel said, "We were able to put the arrest warrant together swiftly as we'd gathered enough evidence before summoning him."

    Woo, who was in charge of auditing Cheng Wa Dae staff, is suspected of leading the cover-up when the scandal broke.

    The warrant relates to charges that he ordered his staff to block an official auditor from probing him and going to ground for several weeks.

    The independent counsel has also conducted a sweeping search of Woo's financial records when he was an attorney and discovered evidence of separate tax dodging and embezzlement.

    Woo is still in denial, telling reporters as he left the counsel's office that he did not know Park's longtime crony Choi Soon-sil, who is at the heart of the scandal. He also claimed that he conducted his duties as senior presidential secretary for civil affairs "properly."

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