Court arraigns ex-prosecutor to decide on arrest warrant over sex scandal

 A Seoul court held a hearing Wednesday to determine whether to issue an arrest warrant for a former senior prosecutor accused of unfairly disadvantaging his junior colleague for raising sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Former senior prosecutor Ahn Tae-geun appears at the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors' Office on Feb. 26, 2018 to be questioned over sexual misconduct allegations. (Yonhap)

Former senior prosecutor Ahn Tae-geun appears at the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors' Office on Feb. 26, 2018 to be questioned over sexual misconduct allegations. (Yonhap)

The Seoul Central District Court arraigned Ahn Tae-geun on the charge of abuse of power. He is suspected of having used his influence to have Seo Ji-hyeon, a district attorney, transferred to a position outside of Seoul after she raised sexual allegations against him. Prosecutors filed for the writ on Monday.

Seo claimed he groped her during a funeral dinner in October 2010 and she was moved to the Tongyoung branch of the Changwon District Prosecutors' Office five years later when she sought to formally raise the issue with the prosecution's internal inspection office.

Prosecutors are seeking to charge Ahn with abuse of authority, since the statute of limitations has expired for the sexual misconduct allegations.

The allegations came to public attention in January after Seo made the revelation in a television news interview.

The prosecution launched a special probe team to look into sexual misconduct allegations within legal circles, primarily Ahn's case, following Seo's revelation. Last week, a prosecution committee tasked with reviewing Ahn's case recommended Ahn be indicted.

Ahn, who held his last position as chief of criminal affairs at the Ministry of Justice, was fired in June last year for offering cash to junior prosecutors over a private dinner. Regarding the sexual misconduct allegations, he has said he does not remember the incident and strongly denied he pulled strings to have Seo moved to her current post.

The court is expected to make its decision on Ahn's arrest as early as late Wednesday. Source from the Yonhap.

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