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Chairman Lee Bu-young Sentenced a 1.5 Million Won Fine

Posted December. 17, 2004 23:03,   


Chairman of the ruling Uri Party Lee Bu-young was sentenced a fine of 1.5 million won ($1,400) for charges of violating the election law.

At a trial held on the morning of December 17, Criminal Department 11 of the Seoul Eastern District Court (Presiding Judge Lee Gi-taek) ruled against Lee, who was prosecuted without detention on charges of violating the election law, saying, “He is guilty of distributing leaflets carrying contents that defame his rival candidate with an intention to affect the election results.”

According to the election law, those who are sentenced to more than one million won in fines are deprived of the rights to vote and to be elected for the next five years, and their current election will be invalidated.

“With the general election around the corner, Lee unquestionably violated the election law by distributing some 72,000 municipal reports containing slander about the other party’s candidate,” the court said. “Although we acknowledge that he, who has been elected as a member of the National Assembly three times, has conducted clean elections in the past, we deliver this sentence that restricts the right to be elected in consideration of establishing a strict election law,” it added.

However, the court acquitted him of charges of “false facts distribution” and “defamation by publications,” saying, “His rival candidate, as well as the defendant, does not exactly remember the event, which happened more than 10 years ago. Also, the evidence is insufficient, and the defendant did not willfully conduct the deeds.” After the verdict, Lee said, “I respect the court’s decision, but will appeal to the higher court.” He also added, “I feel depressed that the representatives of the ruling party successively received heavy punishment.”

Yang-Hwan Jung ray@donga.com