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Prosecutors question former People's Party election campaigner over fake tipoff scandal

2017/07/15 11:15

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SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors on Saturday questioned a former key election campaigner of the People's Party as part of its probe into a fake tipoff scandal involving some members of the minor opposition party.

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office quizzed Kim In-won, the vice head of the party's former fair election panel, in connection with the allegations that a party member doctored a tipoff against President Moon Jae-in's son in the run-up to the May 9 poll.

Investigators suspect that the information was fabricated to back the party's allegations that Moon's son Joon-yong landed a job at a public agency in late 2006 thanks to his father's influence. Moon was then a senior presidential secretary.

Kim faces the charges of announcing disinformation just four days before the presidential vote.

"(I) again apologize for failing to verify whether the tipoff had been concocted, though we did our best during the verification process," Kim told a throng of reporters as he appeared at the prosecution's office.

Kim In-won, a former election campaigner of the minor opposition People's Party, speaks to the press as he appears at the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office in Seoul on July 15, 2017. (Yonhap) Kim In-won, a former election campaigner of the minor opposition People's Party, speaks to the press as he appears at the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office in Seoul on July 15, 2017. (Yonhap)

The questioning came a day after Lee Yoo-mi, the party member accused of creating the fake tipoff, was indicted on charges of violating the Public Official Election Act.

During the meeting with reporters, Kim repeated the party's stance that Lee acted alone, and that no senior party members were implicated in the scandal.

On Wednesday, Ahn Cheol-soo, the party's former presidential candidate, apologized that the party had failed to properly verify the authenticity of the allegations against Moon's son. He said he would take "political and moral" responsibility, but apparently denied his involvement.

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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