Democratic Party in Uproar over Woo Byung-woo Walking Free

Democratic Party in Uproar over Woo Byung-woo Walking Free

 SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's main opposition party on Wednesday criticized a local court's refusal to issue an arrest warrant for President Park Geun-hye's former aide allegedly linked to an influence-peddling scandal which triggered her impeachment.

   The party also claimed that the rejection adds to the need to extend the term of the independent counsel looking into the case.

   The Seoul Central District Court turned down the special prosecutor's request to arrest Woo Byung-woo, who served as senior civil affairs secretary to Park from 2015 to 2016.

   "In order to reveal the truth behind the allegations about Woo, we need to extend the term of the independent counsel," Rep. Choo Mi-ae, the head of the main opposition Democratic Party said.

   "There must be an investigation into the so-called Woo line in the prosecution. The probe can only be done by the independent counsel," Choo said.

   She also called on Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn to extend the term of the independent counsel.

   The special prosecution team must end its probe at the end of February unless Hwang approves its request to extend its mandate by one month. Hwang has been reluctant to grant the special prosecution's request and the ruling Liberty Korea Party opposed the extension which would adversely impact its prospects in the upcoming presidential election.

    Choo said Hwang's refusal would be a challenge by the non-elected authority to the elected power.'

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