The prosecution on Friday arrested a key figure in the controversial martial law plan drafted before the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.
The Seoul Western District Court cited earlier in the day the risk of flight and destruction of evidence by Cho Hyun-chun, the former chief of the now-defunct Defense Security Command(DSC), in issuing the arrest warrant hours after the Seoul Western District Prosecutors Office made the request on charges of abuse of authority and intervention in politics.
The key charge of insurrection conspiracy was not included, but the prosecution plans to look into the allegation with Cho now taken into custody.
Cho is suspected of ordering a DSC taskforce to draw up a contingency plan to declare martial law and reported it to then-defense minister Han Min-koo in February 2017 ahead of the Constitutional Court's ruling on Park's impeachment.
The martial law blueprint included mobilizing tanks and armored vehicles in Gwanghwamun and Yeouido if a rejection of Park's impeachment by the court provoked more severe public protests.
After retiring in September 2017, Cho fled to the U.S. three months later amid a widening probe into the case. He was detained at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday upon his arrival from the U.S.