[속보]’Itaewon Disaster’ Denial of warranty to site manager Lee Im-jae and others… sudden braking on special script investigation

Two people arrested including head of Seoul Metropolitan Government’s information department for ‘order to delete report’

Request for additional warrants, intervention in the investigation to a ‘high level’ such as the Ministry of Public Administration and Security is inevitable.

On the afternoon of the 5th, an inquiry was held at the Seoul Western District Court prior to the arrest of four police officers for whom warrants were sought for poor response to the Itaewon disaster and suspected suppression of intelligence reports. From left, Kim Jin-ho, former head of the information department at Yongsan Police Station, Park Seong-min, former head of the public security information department of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, and Lee Im-jae, former head of Yongsan Police Station. random news

On the 5th, the court rejected the arrest warrants for the main suspects in the ‘Itaewon Halloween disaster’, Lee Im-jae, former Yongsan Police Station chief (senior inspector) and Song Byeong-ju, former station situation chief Yongsan police 112 (police officer). The court partially rejected the first request for an arrest warrant by the Special Investigation Headquarters (special version) of the National Police Agency, which was launched more than a month ago. The dismissal of the warrants for those responsible for the site of the disaster hindered the investigation of the ‘top line’ such as the Ministry of Public Administration and Security. Park Seong-min, former head of the intelligence department (police officer) of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, and Kim Jin-ho, former head of information (police officer) of the Yongsan Police Station, who are suspected of ordering the deletion of the intelligence report, their arrest

Judge Yoo-mi Kim of the Seoul Western District Court issued warrants for Police Officer Park and Police Officer Kim, saying, “There is a risk of destroying evidence” after examining the validity of the warrant by four people, including Superintendent Lee, Superintendent Song, Inspector Park, and Inspector Kim, that afternoon. On the other hand, for Superintendent Lee and Superintendent Song, they disregarded the warrants, saying, “It is difficult to identify the reason for the detention and the reasonableness of the fear of destroying evidence and fleeing, and it is necessary to ensure that the suspect has an adequate right to protection.” On the 1st, a month after the launch of the special edition, arrest warrants were requested for Superintendent Lee and Superintendent Song on charges of negligence and accidental death, and Inspector Park and Superintendent Kim on charges of conspiracy to destroy evidence .

At approximately 1:27 pm on the same day, Sergeant Kim, who appeared in court, responded to the reporter’s question, “Do you admit to the charges?” Afterwards, Police Officer Park, who entered the court, said, “I will answer sincerely” to the same question.

Superintendent Lee arrives at the scene at about 11:05 pm, 50 minutes after the disaster occurred, increases the number of casualties, and is accused of not taking the proper precautions even though the crowd accident has ‘to predict adequately. Inspector Song has been accused of insufficient initial action even though 112 calls had poured in even before the disaster, and he has been accused of reporting the situation of the scene to Superintendent Lee late.

Inspector Park is suspected of ordering to ‘remove information reports that need to be discarded in preparation for inspections and search and seizure’ as prescribed in a group chat room attended by 31 heads of intelligence departments in downtown Seoul after the disaster. Inspector Kim is suspected of deleting a report on the Halloween festival that was prepared before the disaster in the direction of Inspector Park.

With the dismissal of arrest warrants for Superintendent Lee and Superintendent Song, who were identified as the key figures in the post-war response to the disaster, the investigation into the special script, which lasted about a month, was on his first critical point. The special issue was in a position where even the charges of those with circumstances of relatively clear negligence had to be reinstated from the beginning. Investigations by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security and the Seoul Metropolitan Government are bound to slow down as well.

However, with the arrest of Inspector Park and Inspector Kim, the investigation relating to the suspicion of an order to delete the information report has secured grounds for going into police control. The special issue looks to see if the fact that Police Officer Park gave the order to delete the report was also reported to Seoul Commissioner Kim Gwang-ho. The special edition said “so far, there is no confirmed fact” about Commissioner Kim’s involvement in deleting the intelligence report.

The special version booked Choi Jae-won, the head of the public health center of Yongsan-gu, on charges of creating false public documents and accompanying him, and Lee Kwon-soo, the head of the sales office of Dongmyo Seoul Transportation Corporation, and Yongsan-seo 112 situation team leader, on charges of careless neglect. As a result, the number of people booked in the special edition increased to 21, including Kim Kwang-ho of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.

Although Choi arrived at the scene at 0:09 am on October 30, 1 hour and 54 minutes after the disaster, the ward office’s internal report document incorrectly stated that the rescue was carried out immediately after arrival the site around 11:30 pm on October 29. Doubt received Office Manager Lee Dongmyo, who has the authority to manage and supervise the Itaewon Station Manager, has been accused of failing to follow the order of his superior to review a non- stop while working at Itaewon Station on the day of the disaster. The head of the Yongsan Police Station 112 Situation Team worked in the Yongsan Police Station situation room on the day of the disaster and was suspected of neglecting the handling of 112 reports and relief measures after the accident.

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