( dpa ) - South Korea's Constitutional Court cleared the way Thursday for an independent inquiry into president-elect Lee Kyung Bak on stock fraud charges by rejecting a challenge to the law that allows for the appointment of a special prosecutor.
However, it ruled that a clause in the law allowing the prosecutor to call witnesses without a warrant was unconstitutional.
The investigation, which is scheduled to begin Monday, is to look into charges that Lee, 66, cooperated in 2001 with his former business partner Kim Kyung Joon in manipulating the stock price of BBK Asset Management.
A recently released video showed Lee saying in 2000 that he had established the now-folded investment-consulting company although Lee said throughout his election campaign that he had no links to the firm and he contests the charges against him.
Despite the accusations, Lee handily won the December 19 presidential election.
State prosecutors had cleared Lee days before the election but indicted Kim.
The latest inquiry is to be wrapped up shortly before Lee's February 25 inauguration.