GNP lawmaker guilty in bribery case

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GNP lawmaker guilty in bribery case

An appellate court sentenced Grand National Party Rep. Hyun Gyoung-byoung to pay a fine of 3 million won and make restitution of 50 million won yesterday, overturning a lower court ruling.

Hyun was indicted last year on charges of receiving bribes from a golf club owner, surnamed Gong, based in Anseong, Gyeonggi.

Hyun allegedly solicited money from Gong in August 2008 in exchange for political favors and received 100 million in bribes through his aide, surnamed Kim. The lawmaker was also accused of taking another 30 million won in bribes from September 2008 to September 2009.

The lower court, which handed Hyun a not guilty verdict, said in its ruling that the 100 million won Hyun received from Gong was not a bribe but a loan. It said Hyun was not responsible for the 30 million won and found Kim guilty of the crime.

The appellate court overturned the decision. In its ruling, the appellate court said that the fact that Kim and Hyun were found to have coordinated their statements prior to appearing in court proves that Hyun received bribes from Gong in league with Kim.

Like the lower court, the appellate court rule that the 100 million won was not a bribe but a loan. If the Supreme Court upholds the sentence, Hyun will lose his parliamentary seat. Under the current election law, a jail term or a fine of more than 1 million won results in expulsion from parliament.

By Yoo Sun-young []
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