Lee Kwang-cheol, presidential secretary for civil affairs, was indicted on Thursday for allegedly orchestrating the illegal travel ban on former Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-ui in 2019. The indictment was filed one day before the investigation team on the case is disbanded on July 2 due to personnel reshuffle of the prosecution.
The investigation team at the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office said the indictment was filed with the Seoul Central District Court. Lee has been working for the administration for four years and two months. He joined Cheong Wa Dae in May 2017, immediately after the Moon Jae-in administration took office, as a senior officer at the Office of the Presidential Secretary for Civil Affairs and was promoted to presidential secretary for civil affairs. Lee was investigated by the prosecution as part of a probe into an election-meddling case involving the Ulsan Mayor in 2018 but this is the first time that he has been indicted.
The prosecution wrote in the indictment that Lee, together with Cha Gyu-geun, head of the Korea Immigration Service, and Lee Gyu-won, prosecutor in the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, illegally slapped a travel ban on former Justice Vice Minister Kim using a travel ban request with a fake case number. Lee practically orchestrated the travel ban, calling prosecutor Lee on March 22, 2019, the day former Justice Vice Minister Kim attempted to leave the country, and telling him that the travel ban was approved by the Justice Ministry and the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, and telling Cha that prosecutor Lee will contact him regarding the travel ban. Cheong Wa Dae said it has nothing to comment, immediately after Lee’s indictment.
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