SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- A South Korean court on Thursday nullified prosecutors' bid to search the presidential office over the scandal embroiling impeached President Park Geun-hye.
Special prosecutors, who are probing the scandal, tried to search the presidential Blue House on Feb. 3 to collect evidence, but they were stopped by security guards citing the possible leakage of military and official secrets.
The independent counsel had filed a lawsuit with the Seoul administrative court to illegalize the blockade, but the court nullified the filing, preventing the prosecutors from raiding the Blue House.
The court said in a press release that deliberation on it is beyond the authority of the administrative court as the search operation is subject to the criminal code, not the administrative litigation act that aims to protect people's rights from state agencies.
It said the lawsuit between state agencies cannot be filed as the independent counsel is one of the state agencies, and that the issue is required to be resolved through legislative proceedings.
The special prosecutors have stressed the importance of search on Park's offices as digital presidential records are not allowed to fabricate.
Any fabrication or destruction of the records would leave evidence, which can serve as a smoking gun to the special investigation.
Spokesman of the independent counsel team told a press briefing that the court's rejection will in effect make the search of the presidential office impossible.
A separate South Korean court had issued a search warrant, which is effective by the end of this month to enable the prosecutors to storm Park's office for a long period of time.
The prosecutors would be forced to depend on evidences selectively offered by the presidential office.
SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- South Korean prosecutors on Thursday made an official request for an extended probe into the scandal embroiling President Park Geun-hye that led to her impeachment.
Lee Kyu-chul, spokesman of special prosecutors independently investigating the scandal, told a press briefing that the request was submitted earlier in the day to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn who is serving as acting president. Full story
SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) - The heir apparent of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-run conglomerate, on Thursday appeared in hearings at a Seoul court, which will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for him sought by prosecutors.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong entered the Seoul court earlier in the morning, surrounded by a horde of journalists. The grim-faced heir answered no questions from them. Protesters chanted for his detention nearby, TV footage showed. Full story