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Embattled senior prosecutor questioned in ex-vice minister travel ban case

16:38 April 18, 2021

SUWON, South Korea, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors have questioned the chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office over alleged abuse of power in connection with an illegal travel ban imposed against a scandal-ridden senior official two years ago, officials said Sunday.

Lee Sung-yoon was questioned at the Suwon District Prosecutors Office as a suspect on Saturday over allegations that he exercised undue influence in 2019 to bring an end to an investigation into the alleged illegal exit ban imposed on former vice justice minister Kim Hak-ui.

According to the investigation team, Lee was accompanied by his lawyer and was questioned for approximately nine hours. Saturday's probe was conducted following repeated refusals by Lee to comply with subpoenas.

Kim was stopped at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, from leaving the country in March 2019 as prosecutors sought to reinvestigate allegations that he received sexual favors from a local constructor more than a decade ago.

The Suwon prosecutors have been investigating Lee, who formerly headed the Supreme Prosecutors Office's anti-corruption team, on allegations that his team pressed investigators looking into the case to dismiss the suspicions surrounding the travel ban when it first emerged in 2019.

Lee has denied allegations of wrongdoing. The prosecution team in charge of the case, however, is reportedly planning to press charges against Lee.

This file photo shows Lee Sung-yoon, chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office. (Yonhap)


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