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Office of ex-presidential secretary raided in investigation into top court scandal

All Headlines 11:26 September 14, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Prosecution investigators raided the office of a former presidential secretary Friday as part of an investigation into allegations of collusion between the government of ousted former President Park Geun-hye and the Supreme Court.

Investigators suspect that the National Court Administration under the Supreme Court used trials and suits to curry favor with the Park government so as to help advance then Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae's agenda, including the establishment of a court of appeals.

One of these trials and lawsuits involved the Park administration's decision to outlaw the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union. The union filed a suit to repeal the decision and a court suspended the decision until a ruling is made.

Appealing the suspension decision, the government submitted to the court a statement of reason for its appeal. Investigators suspect that the National Court Administration drew up the statement on behalf of the government.

The then judge-turned-presidential legal secretary, Kim Jong-il, is suspected of playing a role between the National Court Administration and the presidential office during the process.

Investigators searched Kim's office at a major law firm in Seoul, and seized a computer hard disk and other materials.

The scandal has dealt a blow to the image of courts and judges.

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