Arrest warrants sought for 4 police officers as part of Itaewon crush probe

Arrest warrants sought for 4 police officers as part of Itaewon crush probe

Baku, December 1, AZERTAC

The police sought warrants to detain four senior officers Thursday as part of their investigation into the bungled response to the deadly crowd crush in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The four are Lee Im-jae, former head of the Yongsan Police Station covering the Itaewon district; Park Sung-min, former high-ranking intelligence officer; Kim Jin-ho, former intelligence officer at the Yongsan Police Station; and Song Byung-joo, former emergency monitoring officer at the Yongsan Police Station.

It marked the first time that detention warrants were sought by a special investigation team probing the fatal crowd collapse on Oct. 29 that killed at least 158 people.

Lee is under suspicion of arriving at the site late, some 50 minutes after the tragedy happened.

He is also accused of not taking enough crowd control measures after prior warnings of overcrowding during the Halloween celebrations, police said.

The investigation team alleges Park, a superintendent general, ordered the deletion of an internal intelligence report giving prior warnings of a possible safety accident during the Halloween period in a suspected attempt to cover up inaction.

He is the highest-ranking police officer among a total of 17 police officers and government officials booked for police investigation.

Kim, meanwhile, is accused of taking an order from Park and making his subordinates delete the report, according to the police.

Song, who was the chief emergency monitoring officer for the Yongsan Ward on the day, is accused of failing to promptly report the situation to Lee.


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