NEW DELHI, President Moon Jae-in has ordered the launch of a special, independent investigation into allegations that the top military intelligence unit may have proposed an armed crackdown on peaceful candlelight vigils last year, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday.
The order was made Monday following recent reports that the Defense Security Command (DSC) proposed declaring martial law in the midst of the candlelight vigils that eventually led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye, who is now facing criminal trial over corruption and abuse of power.
"President Moon Jae-in has ordered Defense Minister Song Young-moo to form an independent investigation team to swiftly and fairly investigate the allegation that the Defense Security Command created a document that proposed considering declaring martial law," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
The president is currently in New Delhi for a four-day state visit that began Sunday. He is set to head for Singapore on Wednesday for a three-day state visit. He will return home Friday.
The special investigation team will consist of military prosecutors who are unrelated to the Army or the DSC.
It will work as an independent counsel, not subject to direction from any military officials, including the defense minister himself.
"The reason the president ordered the formation of an independent investigation team is because there is a possibility that a wide range of defense officials may have been involved and because of the fact that the investigation did not make any progress even after the incumbent chief of the DSC reported the existence of the martial law related document," Cheong Wa Dae said in a statement.
Source: Yonhap News Agency