Mongolian Top Judge Admits 'Possible' Groping

      November 08, 2019 12:54

      The head of Mongolia's Constitutional Court, who was arrested here Wednesday for groping a Korean flight attendant last week, has virtually admitted the charge.

      Police quoted Odbayar Dorj (52) as saying, "I could have done it because I was drunk." Police said they wrapped up their investigation of the case and will hand it over to prosecutors recommending an indictment.

      Dorj apparently told police during nine hours of questioning he had no recollection of the incident because he was drunk but said it is possible.

      Odbayar Dorj, the head of Mongolia's Constitutional Court, leaves a police station in Incheon on Thursday. /Yonhap

      Dorj started drinking even before boarding the flight from Ulaanbaatar to Incheon on Oct 31. After landing he claimed diplomatic immunity and refused to answer questions, prompting police to let him go without verifying it.

      Police belatedly discovered that immunity does not cover members of the judiciary and questioned him again on Nov. 1 as he was waiting to fly on to Bali. This time Dorj claimed the culprit had been another Mongolian passenger sitting behind him and threatened diplomatic consequences should he be questioned further.

      A police spokesman said Dorj has been banned from leaving Korea for 10 days, which could be extended if prosecutors feel it is necessary. The official added that prosecutors could opt for a summary indictment in view of potential diplomatic friction.

      Meanwhile, police turned to Interpol to issue a red notice on another Mongolian who accompanied Dorj on the flight and is accused of sexually harassing another flight attendant. The 42-year-old diverted from Bali to Singapore to give Korean police the slip and is reportedly back in Mongolia.

      Police are consulting with the Mongolian Embassy to set a date for him to appear for questioning.

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