Prosecutors’ attempt to arrest opposition leader Lee Jae-myung came as no big surprise. In recent weeks, he has been summoned three times for questioning, after which he followed and swapped charges. According to Lee, they pressured him, having no facts, according to the investigation, the politician dodged questions. In this respect, it was obvious that everything would end up being decided in court.
From the perspective of the prosecution, Lee Jae-myung, when he was first mayor of Seongnam city, then governor of Gyeonggi province, committed abuse of power, surrendered to various financial scams , which resulted in embezzlement. of funds, the distribution of construction contracts for bribes and other crimes. Additionally, Lee is accused of forcing several construction companies in exchange for contracts to donate to the foundation of Seongnam City Football Club, of which the politician was the head. This was all done with Lee’s knowledge or direction, but through his aides, who had already been arrested. In total, the politician was accused of embezzlement, indirect bribes in the amount of more than 10 million dollars.
Lee Jae Myung himself categorically denies all the accusations, considering that it is an attempt by the ruling camp to “torpedo” the main contender in the presidential election in advance, as well as to avenge the past conflict with the current President of the Republic. of Kazakhstan Yun Suk Yeol. Recall that in the presidential elections of March 2022, Lee and Yoon were the main contenders for the post of leader, representing the Democrats and the Conservatives respectively. Yun won the election by a record margin of less than one percent in the country’s history, but Lee now has high marks and a chance for revenge in the 2027 election.
The current request of the prosecution has become unique in its kind in the political history of the country. So far, no attempt has been made in South Korea to arrest the leader of the main opposition party. The Koreans, by the way, after a period of authoritarian rule by generals in 1961-1987. they are very sensitive to any attempt to suppress a different point of view and therefore the move of the prosecutor’s office is quite bold. Investigators, however, indicate that they are investigating a purely corruption case, which could not be completed previously due to the reign of Lee’s “friendly” forces – the Democrats.
Despite the prosecutor’s request, the chances of his approval are slim. Given Lee Jae-myung’s parliamentary status, parliament should lift his immunity. In the People’s Assembly (parliament) of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the majority belongs to the party of Lee Zhe Myung, where feelings also dominate, considering the accusations as an attempt by the ruling camp to settle scores and eliminate a dangerous competitor. Even if parliamentary immunity is lifted, after that the request must be considered by the court, which must decide whether there are grounds for arrest or whether the investigators have not provided sufficient evidence.
Experts also predict a worsening of internal political confrontation. The fact is that the opposition is calling for an independent investigation into President Yoon Seok-yeol’s wife, Kim Gong-hee. There were enough suspicions and rumors about Kim, but after her husband’s victory, they were all deemed too insignificant to prosecute or baseless. In this regard, a proposal has been put forward to assign independent prosecutors, who will be appointed by the main political forces, to the cases of Lee Jae Myung and Kim Gun Hee. Judging by the polls, the majority of the public supports such an idea, but the ruling camp is already against it, believing that the standard scheme with the participation of the prosecution is enough, and the president’s wife has proven her innocence.
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