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Prosecution Finalizes Election Cases

Posted June. 14, 2008 08:21,   


The Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office wrapped up Friday investigations related to the December presidential election, indicting former United Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Hyun-mi without detention on charges of spreading false rumors and slandering Grand National Party`s presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak.

Kim was accused of circulating unsubstantiated rumors in last November, alleging that then presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak’s wife wore an expensive imported watch.

Prosecutors, however, have suspended the indictment of Chung Dong-young who ran for the presidency last December on the former United New Democratic Party ticket, citing that the charge was dropped by the accuser. Chung was charged with spreading false rumors against his rival Lee, alleging Lee exercised influence over ousting the president of Buddhism Broadcasting System and that their approval ratings are only 1-6 percent apart.

Prosecutors also rejected accusations brought against both Grand National Party and United Democratic Party members. The opposing party members countercharged each other during the course of argument about their involvement in the BBK scandal.

Prosecution’s investigation confirmed that, prior to the extradition of Kim Kyung-joon from the United States, who is now in detention for stock manipulation, UDP Rep. Park, Young-sun, former lawmakers Chung Bong-ju and Seo Hae-seok, and GNP Rep. Lee Hye-hoon contacted Kim and obtained a variety of documents from him.

But they were cleared of charges because the investigators found no evidence that they had known Kim’s claim was false before the revelation of the scandal.

In the meantime, though determined that Lee Bo-ra, the wife of Kim Kyung-joon, violated the election law prohibiting the spread of false rumors, when she presented at a press conference fabricated contracts suggesting Lee Myung-bak was BBK’s real owner, prosecutors set her free, taking consideration that her husband was already prosecuted.

The prosecution has suspended the extradition request for Erika Kim, Kim’ sister, since she expressed her willingness to voluntarily return to Korea and comply with the investigation in August when her house arrest is lifted.

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