Opposition leader says he will respond to prosecution questioning in another bribery probe

SEOUL– The leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), Lee Jae-myung, said Monday he cannot attend a prosecution questioning over bribery allegations surrounding corporate donations to a football club later this week but will arrange another date to respond to the probe.

Last week, the Suwon District Prosecutors Office asked Lee to appear for questioning this coming Wednesday in connection to allegations the city government of Seongnam attracted some 16 billion won (US$12.5 million) in corporate donations to its municipal football club in return for administrative favors between 2016-18.

Lee, who was elected as the DP chair this year, served as the mayor of Seongnam, just south of Seoul, at the time.

The DP leader has denounced the probe as politically motivated, noting the prosecution reopened the case that the police decided to drop last year.

“I cannot understand the prosecution’s actions but will face the investigation confidently,” Lee told reporters.

Lee said he cannot appear for questioning Wednesday due to previous engagements and the National Assembly’s plenary session, but will discuss setting another date and possible methods of investigation with prosecutors through his attorney.

Lee has been under suspicion over another scandal that centers on the allegations that a small, previously unheard-of private asset management company was allowed to reap astronomical investment profits from the development project in Seongnam’s Daejang-dong district when he was the city’s mayor.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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