Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon turned over five reporters from Citizen Press the Tamsa TV on suspicions of housebreaking and retaliation, Seoul Suseo Police Station said Sunday.
On Sunday at around 1:30 p.m., five reporters from the online media outlet allegedly broke through Han’s apartment building doors in Dogok-dong, southern Seoul.
According to footage from the Tamsa TV’s official YouTube channel, the journalists tried to enter the minister’s residence by pressing keys on the door lock pad, demanding Han come out by shouting, “Is there Minister Han?” They also looked over a parcel lying in front of his house. The live broadcast revealed Han’s residence, floor and apartment number.
The video shows reporters standing in front of Han’s house, telling the camera, “We don’t have the right to conduct a compulsory investigation, but we came here so that Han could feel it feels when police investigators suddenly raid a group of journalists on a Sunday.”
The reporters said they visited Han’s apartment to collect news materials and stated that Han would not be able to prosecute them on charges of stalking or otherwise.
The reporters left Han’s apartment after a few minutes with no sign of anybody coming to answer. It was reported, however, that Han’s wife and his children were inside the house at the time.
After the incident, Han reported the five journalists to police, and police arrived at the scene.
On his way to work Monday, Han referred to the Tamsa TV as “narrow-minded political gangsters.”
“The Tamsa is working with mainstream politicians like Kim Eui-kyum, a lawmaker of the Democratic Party, or believing somebody will help them behind the scenes, and have played the role of political gangsters in the past,” he said.
In August, Citizen Press the Tamsa TV alleged that Han had late-night drinks with President Yoon Suk-yeol and 30 lawyers from Kim & Chang, a prestigious law firm, at a luxury bar in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul, on July 19 and 20 this year.
While being questioned in relation to the rumors of the drinking party, a cellist who is believed to be the source told police that she invented them.
The media outlet is also under police investigation for tailing the minister on his way home.