A close aide of ousted President Park Geun-hye was arrested early Friday for his alleged involvement in the state spy agency's illegal surveillance of government officials.
The Seoul Central District Court approved the warrant for Woo Byung-woo, a former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, on the charge of abuse of power. It said his charge was proved beyond reasonable doubt and that he presents a flight risk.
Woo, 50, is accused of ordering the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to secretly keep tabs on government officials, including Lee Seok-su, then-special presidential inspector who was investigating Woo over corruption suspicions.
The former senior prosecutor served as Park's aide from 2015-2016. He has denied the charge.
Prosecutors filed for the writ against Woo for a third time on Monday. The court had refused to issue one for him twice in February and April. The court review session on the warrant on Thursday lasted for more than four hours.
Woo has already been standing trial without detention on charges that he overlooked and tried to cover up influence-peddling by Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil and that he abused his power to block an investigation into the Park government's mishandling of the 2014 ferry sinking that killed more than 300 passengers. (Yonhap)