CIO’s probe into ex-top prosecutor’s power abuse case to gain steam this week

SEOUL-- A state anti-corruption investigative agency will question a senior prosecutor this week as a witness for its probe into Yoon Seok-youl, a former prosecutor general and one of the leading presidential hopefuls, over abuse of power allegations, sources said Sunday, three months after the probe began.

The Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) will call in Lim Eun-jeong, a prosecutor in charge of inspection affairs at the Ministry of Justice, Wednesday for questioning into allegations Yoon abused his power as a prosecutor general to interfere with an investigation by prosecutors on a high-profile criminal case involving former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook.

Yoon was booked in June for allegedly hindering the probe to protect the prosecutors accused of forcing prison inmates to make false testimonies against Han in 2011 and helping them evade indictment.

Han, who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007, was imprisoned from 2015-17 after being convicted of accepting about 900 million won (US$795,000) in illegal political funds from a late businessperson while in office.

Last year, allegations surfaced that prosecutors had forced the late businessperson's fellow inmates to give false testimony against Han during her trial in 2011 to win her conviction.

Lim is considered a key witness to the probe as she was initially allocated Han's case, and had raised issue with Yoon's alleged interference with the investigation at that time.

The CIO raided the justice ministry and the Supreme Prosecutors Office in late July to secure inspection materials on the case. The anti-corruption body's plan to question Lim indicates it is in its final stage of analyzing the materials, picking up speed in its ongoing probe against Yoon.

"I'll state exactly what I saw, heard and felt," Lim told Yonhap News Agency by phone. "I'll calmly prepare for this."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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