The anti-corruption investigation agency announced on Wednesday that President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol had been cleared of alleged charges of attempting to meddle in the 2020 parliamentary elections while serving as Prosecutor General.
The announcement came as the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) completed its investigation into the election meddling scandal that had dogged Yoon’s presidential campaign, according to Yonhap news agency.
He was accused of having Son Jun-sung, a prosecutor under his direct command at the time, collude with the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) to investigate pro-government figures just before the April 2020 general elections while he was the top prosecutor.
Son allegedly asked PPP Representative Kim Woong, a former prosecutor running for a parliamentary seat at the time, to file criminal complaints against key ruling camp officials and to provide related backup documents in order to sway public opinion.
The CIO announced the results of its investigation, saying it had partially confirmed the suspected collusion between Son and Kim but cleared Yoon of election meddling charges.
Son was indicted without detention by the CIO on charges of leaking official secrets while on duty and violating public official election rules, among other things.
The agency also referred Kim to the prosecution for possible indictment on similar charges, citing the fact that he was a parliamentary candidate at the time of the alleged collusion and thus outside the scope of the CIO’s indictment.
The allegations were first made public by an internet news outlet in early September, and Yoon was arrested on four counts, including abuse of power and violating the public official election law.