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Special prosecutors for Sewol disaster raid Supreme Prosecutors Office

Special prosecutors for Sewol disaster raid Supreme Prosecutors Office

Posted June. 15, 2021 07:22,   

Updated June. 15, 2021 07:22


Special Prosecutor Lee Hyun-joo’s special prosecution team tasked with investigating allegations that documents about the Sewol ferry disaster were forged, raided the Supreme Prosecutors Office (SPO) on Monday to seize the server that stores closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the Sewol ferry sinking.

Special Prosecutor Lee, who is entering the second half of his term, sent investigators to the SPO on Monday and seized evidence, including CCTV footages for inside and outside the ferry collected in 2014 by the then-investigation team, such as Gwangju District Prosecutors’ Office and the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. In a press statement issued on Monday, the special prosecution team said they have received over 800 copies of records and 40 terabytes (TB) of electronic information from the Special Commission on Social Disaster Investigation, and currently analyzing about 30 boxes of documents and 100 TB of video footages seized from the Navy and Korea Coast Guard.

The special prosecution team, which began its investigation on May 13, has been probing into allegations that the CCTV footage retrieved from the Sewol ferry may have been manipulated and the digital video recorder (DVR) that had the data stored on it had been replaced immediately before being submitted to the prosecution. The prosecution team has requested the National Forensic Service’s digital forensic on the four pieces of evidence including the original DVR hard disk, restored data, a video showing the moment of DVR collection, and a video showing the inside the hull of the Sewol. The special prosecution team said they had summoned 11 people as witnesses, including members of the Special Commission on Social Disaster Investigation.

The special prosecution team must complete the investigation by July 11 and decide whether to file charges. The team can extend the investigation by 30 days with the approval of the president, if necessary.