Ex-Ulsan mayor faces prosecution questioning as part of election-meddling probe

SEOUL-- Former Ulsan City Mayor Kim Gi-hyeon was questioned by prosecutors Sunday as part of a probe into alleged election meddling involving officials at the presidential office.

Kim, who served as the mayor of the southeastern city of Ulsan from July 2014 to June 2018, has claimed that he sought reelection in 2018 but lost to the current Mayor Song Cheol-ho due to undue influences by Cheong Wa Dae.

Kim was affiliated with the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, and Song of the ruling Democratic Party is a close confidant of President Moon Jae-in.

He was summoned as a witness Sunday, and the questioning has been under way at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office in southern Seoul, according to prosecution officials.

Calling his case "a very grave incident where the constitutional order was severely infringed upon," the former mayor called for a thorough investigation to bring to light who is accountable for and who masterminded it.

"I've heard that police launched secret investigations into me just months after Hwang Un-ha took office as the Ulsan police chief, which was made upon the instruction by Cheong Wa Dae," Kim told reporters upon his arrival at the prosecution office.

According to Kim and the conservative party, Hwang, who now serves as police chief in the southern city of Daejeon, ordered investigations into corruption allegations involving Kim's aides in the runup to the city's mayoral elections in June 2018.

The presidential office, however, flatly denied all allegations of election meddling.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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