DP will lose a lawmakerRepresentative Choi Chul-kook of the Democratic Party forfeited his parliamentary seat yesterday after the Supreme Court upheld a bribery conviction and a 7 million won ($613,000) fine. The number of seats for the opposition party is now down to 86 out of 299.
Previously, an appellate court ordered Choi to pay the fine and to make restitution of 50 million won.
The 58-year-old representative was indicted on charges of pocketing 50 million won in bribes from a construction company executive who gave the money at the order of scandal-plagued businessman Park Yeon-cha. The bribes were said to be given in March and April in 2008, ahead of the general election. Park, former chairman of Busan-based shoemaker Taekwang Industrial, was implicated in a bribery scandal involving the family of ex-President Roh Moo-hyun.
The rulings found Choi guilty saying, “Although Choi argues that he did not receive 30 million won which was first delivered, and was not informed that his employee took the rest of the 20 million won, the testimony by Park and others also convict him of bribery.”
By Yoo Sun-young, Yonhap [firstname.lastname@example.org]