South Korea's culture minister arrested over arts blacklist in political scandal

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 20, 2017 8:16 PM

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's culture minister was arrested on Saturday suspected of involvement in drawing up a blacklist of artists critical of President Park Geun-hye amid a graft scandal that led to the president's impeachment by parliament.

Cho Yoon-sun is the first sitting minister ever to be arrested, the special prosecutor's team, which had applied for an arrest warrant, said.

Seoul District Court said on Saturday in a text message to reporters that minister Cho was arrested because her crime had been "verified and there were concerns over destruction of evidence".

The special prosecutor's office investigating the corruption scandal requested on Wednesday the court to issue warrants to arrest Cho and a former presidential chief of staff on suspicion of abuse of power and perjury.

The former chief of staff, Kim Ki-choon, was also detained on a warrant from the court.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Nick Macfie)