SEOUL, The Supreme Court on Tuesday handed over documents to the prosecution that pertain to allegations that its former chief justice used trials as bargaining chips in its dealings with the presidential office for organizational changes.
Prosecutors are investigating allegations that the National Court Administration (NCA) under the top court wrote a report in March 2015 on how to use high-profile cases to persuade senior presidential aides to then-President Park Geun-hye into supporting Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae's bid to establish a court of appeals.
Prosecutors had requested the Supreme Court, now led by Yang's successor, Kim Meong-su, hand over all documents related to the allegations, including the NCA's computer hard disk.
On Tuesday, the NCA said it submitted the original copies of some 410 files to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, with personal details sealed due to privacy issues. But it excluded the hard disk, a key piece of evidence requested by the prosecution, citing confidentiality.
"After assessing the prosecution request for document submission, we handed in those deemed unrelated to official secrets and deemed to have enough relevance (to the probe)," NCA Chief Justice Ahn Chul-sang said.
The mounting scandal has stirred a heated debate within the judiciary over how the Supreme Court and prosecution should handle the allegations. It has also put pressure on Yang to prove himself his innocence and claim that there was no unfair interference in trials.
Yang has publicly denied the accusations, saying no disadvantage was given to anyone who opposed his proposal to set up a court of appeals.
Current Chief Justice Kim has said he will actively cooperate with the prosecution probe into the scandal.
Source: Yonhap News Agency