Two People’s reps may be detainedProsecutors said Friday they have requested a pretrial detention warrant for People’s Party’s Reps. Kim Su-min and Park Sun-sook on charges of violating election laws during the April 13 general election by receiving kickbacks from advertisement companies.
The latest decision came two weeks after the lawmakers were summoned and a third People’s Party representative involved in the case, Rep. Wang Ju-hyeon, was jailed for fear that he might destroy evidence.
On June 29, both co-chairmen of the People’s Party, Reps. Ahn Cheol-soo and Chun Jung-bae, stepped down from their posts, taking responsibility for the latest scandal.
As sitting lawmakers, Kim and Park are immune from arrest while the legislature is in session, but because the provisional session ended Wednesday, they will head straight to court for the hearing. The trial has been scheduled for Monday.
The People’s Party, which won 38 seats in the April general election and became the third-largest party, said in a statement on Friday afternoon that the warrant was a “violation of the party’s lawful campaign” and that it expects the judicial branch to hand down a “fair decision.”
The party has consistently denied knowing anything about the case.
Kim, 29, the youngest lawmaker in the 20th National Assembly and a proportional representative in charge of public relations, is accused of receiving some 238 million won ($205,394) in kickbacks from two advertising companies.
The accusation was brought by the National Election Commission when it filed a complaint against Kim early last month, claiming she broke election laws by receiving kickbacks and forging business contracts to make it appear the party was using their services. When Kim was summoned by prosecutors in June, authorities said she claimed she was forced by the party’s leadership to run the shady deal.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]