Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, appeared for questioning by the prosecution on Tuesday as a suspect in the bribery case related to Seongnam FC. While the former presidential candidate is adamantly refusing all charges against him, the prosecution plans to request an arrest warrant as soon as the investigation is completed. “The prosecution has laid out a preordained outcome. I will fearlessly fight against a trap set up by this politically biased prosecution,” said Lee.
“I wish this will prove an inflection point of history, where the plain truth that history advances, in defiance of the concocted accusations, is revealed,” Lee read a 2,300-word statement in front of the photo line installed in front of the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office.
It is the first time the prosecution questions the main opposition party’s leader. “The reason that the prosecution’s summons constitutes unprecedented political suppression is not because it marks the first summon of the opposition party’s leader since the Constitution came into force, but because it is tantamount to a judicial coup that fabricates a criminal offense by bringing up a case that has long been found a groundless accusation after yearslong investigations,” Lee said. “President Kim Dae-jung was wrongly accused of conspiracy by insurgents, and President Roh Moo-hyun suffered from false accusations of bribery. They were sacrificed by the politically motivated prosecution.”
Forty-one DP lawmakers and some 500 supporters gathered to see Lee off. “We came here to support Lee Jae-myung who, not as an individual but as a presidential rival and opposition party leader, is under attack from politically organized retaliatory investigations by the prosecution,” said Park Hong-geun, floor leader of the Democratic Party.
Rep. Lee is accused of soliciting 16 billion won in donations from companies under his jurisdiction, such as NAVER, Doosan Construction, and NH Nonghyup Bank, while serving as the mayor of Seongnam, in return for giving favors such as permits and authorizations for construction projects and land use changes. Seongnam Branch’s criminal division brought an accusation against the head of the Seongnam City Strategic Promotion Team in September last year and listed Lee and former senior Democratic Party official Jeong Jin-sang, who is currently in prison, as “co-conspirators” in the indictment.
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