Police recommend charges against Seoul Mayor OhThe police last week referred an investigation of Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon to the prosecution and recommended he be charged with violating the Public Official Election Act.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's anti-corruption and public crime investigation unit investigated the mayor's denials during his campaign for Seoul mayor last April that he was involved in a failed multi-million-won urbanization project called Pi City.
Pi City began in 2004 as a project to develop a 30,000 pyeong (1,067,495 square feet) site in Seocho District, southern Seoul, into a logistics complex with department stores, office space and logistics facilities.
The project was approved by the Seoul Urban Planning Committee in 2008, when Oh was mayor. But the project collapsed in 2009 because Pi City, the construction company in charge of the project, could not repay loans.
Afterwards, suspicion of corruption and evidence of bribery during the authorization process of Pi City were revealed.
During the mayoral by-election campaign last April, Oh was asked by a moderator in a television debate whether he was involved in the Pi City project during his previous terms as Seoul mayor from 2006 to 2011.
He answered that neither he nor the city of Seoul was involved.
However, reports by the city's delivery transport division for July and December 2007 uploaded on the Seoul Metropolitan Government's website clearly indicate that the city and Oh were involved in the project.
"I mistakenly thought that the authorization for Pi City was not granted," Oh has said.
Oh also claims that he is being unfairly investigated by the police.
"In addition to excessive searches and seizures during the police investigation, there are suspicions that the police violated the Criminal Procedure Act and received orders for the Blue House to carry out my investigation," Oh has said.
BY LEE JIAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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