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South Korean Politician Claims Coercion in High-Profile Corruption Case

Daniel Kim Views  

Controversy is brewing over allegations of prosecution’s persuasion by former Gyeonggi Province Vice Governor Lee Hwa Young, who was indicted in the illegal North Korean remittance case involving Lee Jae Myung, the leader of the Democratic Party. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has launched an investigation into the matter.

On the 4th, former Vice Governor Lee testified during the trial, “I remember gathering with former Chairman Kim Sung Tae and former Vice Chairman Bang Yong Chul of Ssangbangwool (SBW) Group in a room marked warehouse in front of the prosecutor’s office No. 1313 at Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office. The SBW employees even brought us food from outside, such as salmon and Hoe-deopbap, and we even drank alcohol once.”

The statement made by former Vice Governor Lee in court is detailed. He pinpointed the time around June of last year and claimed, “There were continuous debates and persuasions during the drinking session. Kim Sung Tae told me about it when we were alone. You will be in big trouble when Lee Jae Myung is not indicted for third-party bribery. Lee Jae Myung must die. The purpose of this investigation is not for you or me but for Lee Jae Myung. Lee Jae Myung is finished. Lee Jae Myung must be imprisoned’.”

Later, in July of last year, former Vice Governor Lee also claimed through a letter from prison that he had made false statements due to the prosecution’s persuasion and pressure.

The opposition party immediately raised suspicions. The Democratic Party’s Committee for the Suppression of Prosecutorial Dictatorship Politics claimed, “Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office is now a suspect in the investigation of manipulating statements in the SBW North Korean remittance case,” and argued, “Particular and detailed circumstances of manipulating statements were mentioned in the courtroom.” The committee urged, “A thorough inspection and investigation of all related prosecutors must begin immediately,” and “The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office must immediately start the inspection.”

Lee Jae Myung also claimed regarding this revelation, “There would have been CCTV in the place where they had the drinking session, and if you check the entry and exit records, it will come out,” and argued, “From what I see, given the attitude of the prosecution, former Vice Governor Lee Hwa Young’s statement appears to be 100% true.” He added, “It is impossible to have a drinking session when contact with accomplices is prohibited without the approval of the prosecutor.”

He claimed on his social media, “Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office gathered the arrested SBW affiliates at the prosecutor’s office, allowed a drinking session, and practiced false statements to kill Lee Jae Myung. Release the CCTV and entry and exit records.”

The prosecution is taken aback. Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office issued a statement saying, “Defendant Lee Hwa Young, who has consistently made false excuses that the prosecution’s evidence was manipulated in court, has now even claimed that statements were manipulated while drinking alcohol with SBW affiliates under the guard of a correctional officer at Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office. This is an absurd claim that we can’t even imagine,” and refuted it.

However, as suspicion spread, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office instructed the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office, which investigated the case of former Vice Governor Lee, to check the presence or absence of CCTV, food order and payment details, and inmate entry and exit records. It is known that they are also conducting a full-scale investigation of the correctional officers who accompanied the investigation of former Vice Governor Lee.

▲Prosecutors’ Office ⓒSherlock
Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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