Seongnam City Hall raided in probe of former candidate Lee Jae-myung
Police raided Seongnam City Hall Monday over allegations that former presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung, who was mayor of Seongnam from 2010 to 2018, took donations from companies via the city’s football club, Seongnam FC.
The Bundang Police Precinct announced Monday that they raided five divisions of the city government, including the planning and policy planning divisions. Lee’s home and other locations related to the case were not raided.
“We cannot confirm specific investigation details such as what kind of documents were secured through the raid,” a spokesperson from the Bundang Police Precinct said.
These were the first police raids related to the Seongnam FC donations.
Last month, police raided the Gyeonggi Provincial Government to investigate allegations that Lee’s wife, Kim Hye-kyung, used a provincial government credit card for private expenses. Lee was governor of Gyeonggi from July 2018 to October 2021.
Lee is now the subject of two active investigations.
The Seongnam FC probe is looking into whether Lee, as mayor of Seongnam, received 16 billion won ($12.6 million) in corporate donations to the football club from companies including Doosan Group, Naver Corporation and Hyundai Department Store, between 2014 to 2016. These companies allegedly received business favors such as building permits and land use changes in return.
During local elections in June 2018, when Lee was running for Governor of Gyeonggi, the Bareunmirae Party filed a criminal complaint claiming Lee had received bribes as donations in exchange for giving various licenses and permits to companies.
After conducting an investigation, the Bundang Police Precinct chose not to refer the case to the prosecution last September, saying the evidence was insufficient.
The complainant filed an objection, and the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ office was given the case.
In the process, the head of the Seongnam Branch, Park Eun-jung, who was an ally of the Moon Jae-in administration and of the Democratic Party, rejected the requests of the investigation team several times. Deputy Prosecutor Park Ha-young, who was in charge of the investigation, resigned in protest.
After the controversy, the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Prosecutor’s Office requested a supplementary investigation from the Bundang Police Precinct in February, and the police, which had been reviewing the case, conducted its raids Monday.
BY LIM JEONG-WON [email@example.com]