UPDATE : 2019.11.18 MON 11:27
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Court holds hearing to decide legality of arresting ex-presidential aide

A Seoul court held a hearing Tuesday to decide whether to issue a warrant to arrest a former senior presidential secretary in relation to an influence-peddling scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment in December.

Woo Byung-woo, senior presidential secretary for civil affairs from 2015 to 2016, appeared at the Seoul Central District Court to attend the hearing.

"I will fully elaborate my stance at the courtroom," he told reporters as he entered the courthouse, declining to answer any questions asked by reporters.

The court's decision is expected to come late at night or early Wednesday.

The investigation team, led by Independent Counsel Park Young-soo, on Sunday asked the court to issue the writ against Woo on charges of abuse of authority and dereliction of duty. Prosecutors grilled Woo for nearly 19 hours from Saturday.

He is accused of peddling influence in the government's management of personnel, as well as hindering lawful investigations.

Woo Byung-woo, a former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, arrives at the special prosecutors' office in southern Seoul on Feb. 21, 2017, before heading to the Seoul Central District Court to attend a hearing on the legality of his detention. (Yonhap)

Prosecutors are also looking into whether Woo aided and abetted Choi Soon-sil, President Park's friend of 40 years, in meddling in state affairs. He has been flatly denying any connection with Choi. (Yonhap)

Park So-yeon  edt@koreapost.com

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