LKP goes after nominee, spouse

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LKP goes after nominee, spouse

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) announced Sunday it would file criminal complaints against President Moon Jae-in’s nominee for the Constitutional Court and her husband for using inside information from trials they participated in to make lucrative stock investments.

Rep. Min Kyung-wook, spokesman for the LKP, said in a statement that the conservative party would file the complaints today, urging Justice-nominee Lee Mi-sun and her husband, Oh Choong-jin, to respond when prosecutors pick up the case and start investigations. Min denounced the couple for failing to explain their investments and the Blue House and ruling Democratic Party for defending them.

Min said the LKP will also ask the Financial Services Commission to separately look into the couple’s suspicious investments.

Specifically, Min said the party was planning to accuse Lee of violating laws pertaining to the prevention of corruption, financial investments and capital markets, as well as leakage of secrets related to public duties. As to Oh, a lawyer with Lee & Ko, the LKP said it would accuse him of violating laws related to the prevention of corruption, financial investments and capital markets, as well as leakage of secrets related to work.

The couple’s big stock investments were first laid bare to the public last Wednesday at a National Assembly confirmation hearing for Lee, a senior judge of the Seoul Central District Court, who was nominated by Moon last month to serve as a Constitutional Court justice. At the hearing, LKP lawmakers scrutinized her and her husband’s lucrative stock picks.

Moon doesn’t need approval from the National Assembly to appoint justices for the Constitutional Court, meaning he can appoint Lee even if the LKP refuses to endorse her. But the LKP could use that against his party, the ruling Democratic Party, in future policy-making procedures at the National Assembly.

During last week’s confirmation hearing, it was revealed that Lee and Oh together own 4.26 billion won ($3.74 million) in assets, 82 percent of which is 3.5 billion won worth of stocks. Oh, after serving as a judge for 13 years, joined Lee & Ko, a major law firm based in Seoul, mainly covering intellectual property litigation.

At the hearing, Lee frequently fumbled when lawmakers asked her about the investments, saying her husband traded on her behalf. Lee denied using inside information in making investments or any other irregularity.

Through multiple statements uploaded on his Facebook account, Oh denied any illegality in the couple’s investments as well and suggested he and an LKP lawmaker debate the issue on national television to clear any misunderstanding.

The LKP chastised the offer in a statement on Sunday, saying if Oh were to speak on behalf of Lee, the Blue House might as well retract its nomination for Lee and tap Oh as its nominee instead.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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