DP lawmaker faces arrest warrant

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DP lawmaker faces arrest warrant

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday requested an arrest warrant for 44-year-old Kang Sung-jong, who is a lawmaker from the Democratic Party, for embezzling school funds during his term as a chairman.

According to the prosecutors, Kang is charged with embezzling approximately 8 billion won ($6.8 million) from Shin Heung College and Indianhead International School from 2001 to 2008, and using the money for personal reasons, such as financing his political activities. The prosecution investigated Kang in March and July as a suspect and was planning to issue an arrest warrant, but delayed the move because there were frequent provisional sessions of the National Assembly. Lawmakers enjoy immunity from arrest while the National Assembly is in session.

Some prosecutors said that Kang should be indicted without detention, because arresting a lawmaker needs an agreement from the National Assembly, but past cases suggest that it would not be easy. However, the director of the schools, surnamed Park, 53, who collaborated with Kang, was sentenced to two years in prison on Aug. 3. According to the Justice Department, although Park collaborated with Kang to misappropriate school funds over a long period of time, his personal gains were significantly lower than Kang’s. Since Park is already sentenced to two years in prison, it would be unfair if Kang, whose crime was heavier than Park’s, is simply indicted.

The Prosecutor General Kim Joon-Gyu recently said, “there must be no political consideration in investigations,” so the political status of Kang will not guarantee him sanctuary. Prosecutors will ask the National Assembly to give its approval for the issuance of an arrest warrant.

By Lee Chul-jae, Jeon Jin-bae [enational@joongang.co.kr]
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