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Lee Jae-myung agrees to show up for additional questioning

Lee Jae-myung agrees to show up for additional questioning

Posted January. 31, 2023 07:50,   

Updated January. 31, 2023 07:50


Lee Jae-myung, the leader of the People Power Party, said on Monday morning in an unscheduled press conference, “Although it is humiliating and unfair since they summoned me again, I will appear before prosecutors for another round of questioning regarding allegations on development projects in Seongnam’s Daejang neighborhood and Wirye New Town as a ‘loser’ in last year's presidential election.” He decided to do so despite the decision made through a meeting held behind closed doors on Sunday evening—the Democratic Party’s highest leadership agreed that Lee should not comply with additional questioning by prosecutors. Even though Lee used to react strongly against additional questioning from prosecutors, saying it is an “excessive use of prosecutorial power,” it seems he embraced the party’s opinion that “he should conform to additional summons not to give the prosecution an excuse for requesting an arrest warrant.”

“Even though it isn't right, I will go as this is the price you pay for losing the presidential election,” Lee told reporters on Monday. He added that he would show up for questioning on weekends not on weekdays as he “has a job and roles to play.”

When reporters asked Lee about the possibility of the prosecution requesting the National Assembly's consent on his arrest, he said, “I don’t understand why I am subject to arrest because there’s no clear evidence; I won’t run away, they know where I live, and I can’t destroy evidence. I cannot help but think it’s because I am the leader of the opposition party.”

The prosecution, which confirmed Lee's intention to show up for additional questioning through media reports, plans to discuss the schedule with Lee. Earlier on Saturday, when Lee refused a late-night questioning, the prosecution suggested Tuesday and Wednesday.

Prosecutors will supplement questionnaires based on Lee’s written statement submitted in the previous investigation. In particular, the allegations of bribery related to the 42.8 billion won stake in ‘Cheonhwa Dongin No. 1’ and Jeong Jin-sang, the party’s former vice chief of staff, require further confirmation as the allegations have not been properly investigated. After completing the investigation into Lee, the prosecution plans to seek a preliminary arrest warrant for Lee as early as next month along with the Seongnam FC sponsorship allegation.

Dong-Jun Heo hungry@donga.com