An opposition lawmaker filed a request to the Board of Audit and Inspection on Tuesday to look into suspicions regarding President Moon Jae-in’s daughter’s move to Thailand last year.
The lawmaker, Rep. Kwak Sang-do of the Liberty Korea Party, has been pegged as a subject of investigation into the nomination in 2013 of an ex-vice justice minister despite a suspected sex-bribery scandal
At the time, Kwak was the top aide on civil affairs to then President Park Geun-hye.
“Under the current law, the president’s kin are supposed to be under watch by the presidential secretariat and a special inspector, but the office of the senior presidential secretary on civil affairs is not inspecting them, and the special inspector has not even been appointed, leaving the president’s family in a blind spot,” Kwak said in a floor meeting at the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Kwak asked the BAI to look into the reasons why the president’s son-in-law gave the title to a house to his wife, Moon Dae-hye, three months before she sold it; how the house was sold at a price higher than the market price; whether government offices provided any convenience to the couple; and suspicions surrounding the sharp increase of loans taken out by a game company in the year after the president’s son-in-law joined it in 2014.
On Monday, a panel that looks into past misconduct by the prosecution recommended the Justice Ministry to investigate Kwak on charges that he abused his authority in 2013 to get Kim Hak-eui appointed despite Kim’s sex scandal.
The panel said that Kwak and another presidential secretary at the time are suspected of reprimanding the police who were investigating Kim’s case, and obstructing the probe by making personnel shifts in the police command.
The panel also said the two interfered in the investigation by demanding the National Forensic Service to show them a video in which Kim received sexual favors from women hired by a contractor.
Kwak said in a press conference that he never said anything about the police investigation into Kim, and only demanded an explanation about a false report.
He also said the personnel shift was done legally, and that he needed to check the video as the inspection of high-ranking officials is a duty of the senior presidential secretary on civil affairs.
Regarding suspicions that he tried to cover up Kim’s case, Kwak said that a close associate of then Prosecutor-general Chae Dong-wook had defended Kim at the time, and visited the police to help Kim.
“If a cover-up is suspected, shouldn’t they be investigated?” Kwak said.
Kwak made public in January that Moon Dae-hye moved to a country in Southeast Asia, where her son is attending an international elementary school.
The presidential office at the time acknowledged that her family was living abroad, but warned against the spread of speculative and slanderous rumors as there was nothing illegal about the move.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com)