(2nd LD) Special inspector denies reports over information leak

A special inspector looking into allegations of corruption involving a presidential aide denied news reports on Wednesday that he illegally leaked information related to his ongoing probe to a journalist.

On Tuesday, local broadcaster MBC reported that Lee Seok-su, the inspector under the presidential office, leaked information about his investigation into Woo Byung-woo, senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, to an unspecified reporter via social media.

By law, a special inspector can face a prison sentence of up to five years for leaking information related to his or her ongoing work.

"I have never contacted any media outlet or leaked confidential information to anybody through SNS (social network service)," he said in a press release, demanding MBC reveal the identity of the journalist and the type of social media that the broadcaster referred to in its report.

Regardless of the report, Lee vowed to quickly wrap up his probe into Woo.

The senior presidential secretary is alleged to have received favors from a disgraced former prosecutor in a 2011 real estate transaction involving the family of Woo's wife. He has denied all the allegations amid mounting calls for his resignation.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK) and the minor opposition People's Party stressed the need to "get to the bottom" of the allegations of the information leak.

"Whether the information was actually disclosed (to a journalist) should be clearly verified," a group of MPK lawmakers said in a joint statement.

Expressing doubts over the credibility of the special inspector, MPK floor leader Woo Sang-ho demanded a special investigation by an independent prosecutor into the allegations surrounding the senior presidential secretary.

Source: Yonhap News Agency