S Korean PM`s department searched over rights abuse

South Korean prosecutors raided the Prime Minister`s department on Friday over allegations that its officials conducted an illegal investigation into a government critic.

Last Updated: Jul 09, 2010, 20:34 PM IST

Seoul: South Korean prosecutors raided the
Prime Minister`s department on Friday over allegations that its
officials conducted an illegal investigation into a government
critic.

About a dozen investigators from the Seoul Central
District Prosecutors` Office searched the offices of a senior
official, Lee In-Kyu, and three other staffers, Yonhap news
agency said.
There was no immediate comment from the Prime
Minister`s Office on the operation, the first time the
department has been searched by prosecutors.

Lee, whose job is to investigate public servants,
allegedly exceeded his brief and launched a probe into Kim
Jong-Ik, 56, after the businessman posted a video clip on the
Internet critical of President Lee Myung-Bak in 2008.

Kim has said Lee In-Kyu`s officials ransacked his
company, confiscated financial records and forced KB Bank, one
of his firm`s main clients, to cut business deals. He said he
lost his job as a result.

Lee In-Kyu`s team is not authorised to investigate
private citizens. The affair has made headlines in South
Korea, with the opposition claiming the case was merely the
tip of the iceberg.

Investigators today secured documents, daily logs and
computer files.
Earlier this week prosecutors banned the four
officials from leaving the country.

PTI