South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo was questioned alongside influential blogger, Kim Dong-won, better known by his online nickname Druking, in a joint questioning session by special investigators late Thursday.
According to the special counsel, the questioning of the two suspects, whose version of events disagree with each other, began around 8:30 p.m. at its office in Gangnam, southern Seoul.
Gov. Kim was being grilled for a second time since 9:30 a.m. that day.
Prosecutors called him in again, citing the need to continue the questioning due to lack of time. There are only about two weeks left before the probe comes to the end of its official 60-day term, as given by the Assembly.
The governor is suspected of involvement in the manipulation of internet news comments led by Druking.
Accompanied by their attorneys, Gov. Kim and Druking reportedly sat at a table in the same room and gave answers to questions from a supervising investigator.
Investigators were aiming to find the truth between the two Kims’ contrasting claims during the joint questioning.
|Gov. Kim (left) and Druking (Yonhap)|
While Gov. Kim has been denying the fact that he was aware of the software used for rigging Internet news comments led by Druking, the other Kim has been asserting that he was told by the governor to manipulate the comments.
Kim is alleged to have frequently communicated with Druking and his team during the scheme to rig the number of likes on news articles and comments to benefit the ruling Democratic Party in late 2016, when the DP was the main opposition.
The probe has become a hot button issue ,as Kim is known for his close ties with President Moon Jae-in. The case also potentially implicates Song In-bae and Baek Won-woo, two incumbent presidential officials who are suspected of involvement in the scheme.
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Yonhap