NATIONAL

Disgraced Gov. An’s wife testifies accuser liked An as lover

By Jo He-rim
  • Published : Jul 13, 2018 - 14:04
  • Updated : Aug 14, 2018 - 11:51
The wife of former South Chungcheong Provincial Gov. An Hee-jung on Friday testified that the plaintiff who claims to have been raped by An, liked him as a lover.

Seoul Western District Court opened the fifth hearing on An’s case in the morning, calling witnesses including An’s wife Min Joo-won, An’s former aides who worked for his presidential campaign team and a provincial government official who worked with An.

An Hee-jung (Yonhap)

The disgraced politician, who competed in the Democratic Party of Korea’s presidential election primary last year, is accused of raping his secretary, Kim Ji-eun. An claims they were in a consensual, romantic relationship. He is married with two children.

At the hearing, Min claimed that Kim had behaved differently than other aides, and recalled of an incident in which Kim had acted strangely.

“On Aug. 18 last year, An and I stayed at a resort in Boryeong, (South Chungcheong Province) with a Chinese ambassador couple. After we finished our schedule, we went to bed at around 11 p.m.,” Min said. “Kim, for some reason, stealthily came into the bedroom at around 4 a.m. and looked at us for three to four minutes.”

At first she thought Kim came to wake them up, and when An asked Kim gently what was wrong, Min said she became angry.

“If she comes in at such an early hour like that, it would be normal for him to get mad, but he spoke softly and I was mad at him,” she said.

But Min was too disconcerted to speak at that time and only watched with her eyes half-closed she added.

In another incident, Min said Kim was blushing as she came running to An, unlike other secretaries, and Kim would try to get attention by drawing on the ground with a tree twig.

“It seemed Kim liked An as a lover, and I was worried,” she said. “Among An’s supporters, Kim was called the ‘wife secretary.’”

It is the first time Min has spoken publicly about the case.

Earlier in the day, a former aide who worked for his presidential campaign team testified that Kim had not complained of An’s sexual misconduct.

The aide is known to have worked closely with Kim and shared numerous instant messages and conversations about her personal issues.

“Kim would often describe An as her ‘sky’ that she could rely on, not as someone with authority,” Sung said.

On March 5, Kim made her sexual assault accusation against An on live TV. She said she was raped by An four times while working for him from 2017 to February this year.

Kim also maintains that she was implicitly pressured and could not resist An’s advances due to the power imbalance between them.

The prosecution has charged An with committing sexual assault by abusing his occupational authority, among other charges.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)