Court Refuses Arrest Warrant for Ex-Park Aide Again

  • By Park Sang-ki

    April 12, 2017 12:11

    Former presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo leaves the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    The Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday morning declined to issue an arrest warrant for former presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo.

    Woo, a well-connected former prosecutor, is accused of leading the cover-up in the crony scandal that brought down President Park Geun-hye.

    This is the second time Woo has escaped arrest. In February the independent counsel investigating the scandal sought an arrest warrant for him, but it was rejected for lack of evidence.

    The court this time also cited insufficient evidence. Prosecutors applied for the warrant on Sunday on suspicion that Woo aided or condoned Park crony Choi Soon-sil's extortion racket and exerted undue influence on the prosecution to halt probe into the 2014 ferry disaster.

    Prosecutors have been criticized for treating Woo with kid gloves. It took them almost a month after the scandal broke in October last year to raid his home, and phone records show that he had frequent phone conversations with senior prosecutors while the investigation was going on.

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