Park sues DUP floor leader for libel

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Park sues DUP floor leader for libel

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박근혜

The ruling party’s leading presidential hopeful Park Geun-hye has sued the floor leader of the main opposition party for libel over allegations of Park’s possible involvement in a massive bribery scandal related to a suspended savings bank, officials said yesterday.

The suit came after Representative Park Jie-won of the Democratic United Party claimed last week Park Geun-hye met with a key lobbyist for the now-suspended Busan Savings Bank on several occasions, calling on the prosecution to investigate possible irregularities in the course of those meetings.

The presidential hopeful also sued a confidant of the lobbyist and two co-hosts of the political satire podcast “Naneun Ggomsuda” (“I’m a Petty-Minded Creep”) for making similar allegations on the show, said an official close to Park.

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박지원(左), 김어준(右)

Park Geun-hye has denied any ties to the lobbyist Park Tae-kyu.

“I don’t know him at all and have never met him,” Park Geun-hye told reporters at the National Assembly. “They are continuing a negative [campaign] again and again with falsehoods like this. Political leaders and the media should tell the truth to the people, but they are spreading falsehoods repeatedly. That’s why I took the legal action.”

Park also said that she hopes prosecutors will carry out a thorough investigation into the case and make its results public in detail so as to help uproot such negative campaign practices. She filed the suit with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday.

Despite a shared last name, the presidential hopeful, the opposition floor leader and the lobbyist are not related.

The lobbyist was sentenced in December to two and a half years in prison for taking 1.7 billion won ($1.46 million) in bribes from Busan Savings Bank in exchange for lobbying influential government officials to help the bank avoid regulatory punishment.

The savings bank’s operation was eventually suspended by financial regulators early last year due to management irregularities and a lack of capital.

Yonhap

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