South Korea’s culture minister, Cho Yoon-sun, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly creating a “blacklist” of nearly 10,000 artists critical of the country’s impeached President Park Geun-Hye.
Cho became the first minister in active service to be arrested in South Korea.
Prosecutors accuse her of creating the vast catalogue to starve the artists of government subsidies and private investments and place them under state surveillance.
She was arrested because her crime has been “verified and there were concerns over destruction of evidence,” Seoul Central District Court said.
The court also issued an arrest warrant for Kim Ki-Choon, former chief of staff for Park. Kim is accused of ordering Cho to create the list of “left-leaning” artists.
South Korea has been gripped by a deepening corruption scandal that led to parliament impeaching Park last month.
If the Constitutional Court upholds the impeachment, Park would become the first democratically elected leader to be removed from office.