Posted December. 13, 2004 22:36,
Politicians who were suspected to have received political funds worth several hundred million won as they joined the Grand National Party (GNP) right before the presidential election in 2002 are being brought to trial. The case previously went through informal prosecution, and concerned politicians were fined two million won.
The Seoul Central District Court said Monday that as some concerned politicians--formal congressmen Kim Yun-sik, Won Yu-cheol, Lee Geun-jin, Lee Yang-hui, Lee Wan-gu, and Lee Jae-seon--have requested a formal trial, the case, which was originally taken to an independent court, would be remitted to another court that has exclusive charge over corruption affairs. Formal congressman Na O-yeon and congressman Hwang U-yeo, who were prosecuted informally and fined two million won and three million won respectively, have requested a formal trial as well.
Since this court has experience with the illegal presidential election money case, I believe that the court is in better position to judge in terms of investigating evidences and assessing sentences, said Min Hyeong-gi, the presiding senior judge.
The trial for former congressmen Won Yu-cheol, Lee Wan-gu, and Lee Jae-seon and incumbent congressman Hwang U-yeo is scheduled for December 21, presided over by senior judge Kim Byeong-un. The first trial for former congressmen Kim Yun-sik, Na O-yeon, Lee Yang-hui, and Lee Geun-jin is set for December 22, presided over by senior judge Choi Wanju.
The suspicion was that they violated a law to regulate harboring illegal earnings by receiving an estimated two hundred million won for bolting the Millennium Democratic Party and the United Liberal Democrats and then entering the GNP.