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(LEAD) Prosecution seeks arrest warrant for ex-Industry Minister Paik

All News 13:36 June 13, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 4th para: ADDS photo)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant Monday for former Industry Minister Paik Un-gyu over allegations that while in office he forced the heads of 13 energy-related state firms to step down.

Paik, the former Moon Jae-in administration's first minister of trade, industry and energy, is under suspicion of forcing the resignation of heads of state-run energy companies who were appointed under the preceding Park Geun-hye government, shortly after he took office in 2017.

Prosecutors questioned Paik last week on charges of abuse of power.

As part of the investigation, prosecutors in May searched Paik's residence and his office, and the buildings of six energy-related state agencies affiliated with the ministry, and seized a computer and other materials.

The then main opposition Liberty Korea Party, a predecessor of the now ruling People Power Party, lodged a criminal complaint against Paik, ex-Vice Industry Minister Lee In-ho and three other high-level ministry officials in 2019 in what is dubbed the "industry ministry blacklist" scandal.

Former Industry Minister Paik Un-gyu (C) speaks to the media in front of his office at Hanyang University in Seoul on May 19, 2022. (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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