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Gangwon Province Gov.-elect Faces Duty Suspension

Posted June. 12, 2010 08:27,   


Gangwon Province Gov.-elect Lee Kwang-jae Friday was given a six-month prison sentence with a one-year suspension for taking illegal political funds.

He received 140,000 U.S. dollars and 30 million won (24,000 dollars) on two occasions from former Taekwang Industry Chairman Park Yeon-cha and other figures.

Under the Local Government Act, if a municipal government head is sentenced to prison, he or she must delegate authority to a deputy. So Lee will be suspended from duty when his term begins July 1.

The Seoul Appellate Court found Lee guilty of most of the charges against him and gave him a suspended six-month prison sentence and a fine of 114 million dollars (91,263 dollars).

Right after the ruling, Lee told reporters, “It’s unfair and I am unconvinced,” adding he will file an appeal with the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court upholds the verdict, however, he will lose his governorship.

Figures close to Lee said that if the government announces the suspension of Lee’s duty, they will appeal the suspension, sue the government, and file a petition with the Constitutional Court.

baltika7@donga.com imlee@donga.com