As the investigation into the Itaewon disaster continued, the prosecution concluded that Lee Im-jae, former head of the Yongsan Police Station, who was in charge of the scene at the time, had already been listening to the radio that there was a risk of an accident since 8:30 pm, contrary to his original claim.

Reporter Kim Hyung-rae reports.


[Imjae Lee/Former Chief of Yongsan Police Station (November 16 of last year): That night I did not receive a single report about the Itaewon disaster.

It was around 23:00 when I learned about the situation of the Itaewon disaster.]

Lee Im-jae, the former head of Yongsan Police Station, who was in charge of Itaewon, insisted at National Assembly hearings that he only learned about the situation after about 40 minutes of the disaster.

However, the prosecution concluded that Lee's testimony was in fact a lie.

150 minutes ago, from 8:30 in the evening, he was listening to the on-site radio while waiting in the chief's car equipped with four radios.

At the time, a confused situation was sent to the radio outlook in Yongsan-seo, saying that it would not be possible to have two lanes now with instructions to continue pushing the crowds pushed to the roadway to the sidewalk.

Prosecutors pointed out that as long as Lee spoke to the head of the 112 situation office who was managing the crowd 18 minutes before the disaster, he could have taken appropriate countermeasures if he had made up his mind.

He also ruled that the claim of requesting a SWAT team was false.

[Kim Gwang-ho/Chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (January 4th): As I repeat, we have not received anything from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency other than a request to discharge one traffic police unit.]

[Lee Im-jae/Former Yongsan Police Station (January 4th): I am still applying It is our position that there is no change regarding the contents of the request and the order.]

The National Assembly Special Investigation Committee also filed a complaint on the 17th of the National Assembly perjury against former chief Lee, who was arrested and indicted on charges of negligence and negligent manslaughter.

The bereaved family council today (31st) demanded an official apology from President Seok-Yeol Yoon, saying that the President's office was ignoring six demands, such as finding out the truth without sanctuary.

(Video coverage: Yun Hyung·Lee Sang-hak, video editing: Park Jeong-sam)