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Ex-vice minister barred from leaving Korea amid sex crime probe

Former Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-ui has been barred from traveling overseas amid a fresh probe into allegations of a sex crime in 2013, officials said Saturday.

Kim, who retired from public service in March 2013 amid allegations that he attended a sex party hosted by local contractor Yoon Jung-cheon at his villa in Wonju, 120 kilometers east of Seoul, had attempted to leave South Korea on Friday at Incheon International Airport, according to officials at the justice ministry.

The ministry said it imposed an “urgent” overseas travel ban on Kim. Kim was forced to resign only six days after he was appointed to the No. 2 post at the Ministry of Justice, as police and prosecutors launched their investigations into the allegations. 

Kim Hak-eui (Yonhap)
Kim Hak-eui (Yonhap)

Kim was cleared of the charges in 2013, but a special panel at the justice ministry looking into past rulings recently recommended a probe into Kim‘s case, citing apparent irregularities in clearing the charges.

The allegations became known to the public after a video clip that was leaked during an adultery probe against Yoon showed a drunken orgy at the remote Wonju villa in which a group of men, including one believed to be Kim, were having a sex party with about 30 women.

Yoon was suspected of seeking business favors by providing officials and other influential figures sex services, and investigators also suspected illegal substances may have been used by those who frequented the estate. (Yonhap)