South Korean prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for the former chief justice of the country's top court on Friday over his alleged involvement in a judicial power abuse scandal.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office requested the writ to put into custody Yang Sung-tae, 71, who led the Supreme Court from 2011 to September 2017.
The disgraced Yang would become the first former top court chief in the country's history to be questioned before other court judges to determine whether to arrest him.
Yang was accused of masterminding a so-called "trial dealings," in which the Supreme Court ruled in politically and diplomatically sensitive trials in favor of the policy directions of former President Park Geun-hye who was removed from office in 2017.
In exchange for it, Yang allegedly sought to win Park's approval for the establishment of a separate court of appeals, known to have been a long dream of Yang.
During the interrogation of Yang by prosecutors for the past week, the former top court chief reportedly denied all allegations over him, leading the prosecution office to seek an arrest warrant for fear of Yang's possible attempt to destroy evidence.
Prosecutors sought a separate warrant to arrest Park Byong-dae, 62, who served as the head of the highest court's administrative affairs body for two years through February 2016.
The former top court justice was accused of having engaged in the trial dealings. A Seoul court rejected the custody request over him in December last year, but the prosecution office sought the arrest warrant again.
Lim Jong-hun, a former deputy head of the Supreme Court's administrative body under the Yang's judiciary branch, was put under custody and indicted in November last year over his involvement in the judicial power abuse scandal.