PPP leader accuses DP of using parliamentary probe into Halloween tragedy to shield party leader

SEOUL– The ruling People Power Party (PPP) leader on Thursday accused the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) of trying to use a parliamentary probe into the Halloween tragedy to shield party leader Lee Jae-myung from a prosecution investigation.

PPP chief Rep. Chung Jin-suk made the remark, a day after the DP and two minor progressive parties — the Justice Party and the Basic Income Party — submitted a request for a parliamentary investigation into the government’s bungled response to the Itaewon tragedy.

“A parliamentary probe is nothing but efforts to save Lee Jae-myung,” Chung said during a party meeting.

The PPP has objected to a parliamentary probe, saying it could hamper ongoing investigations into the case.

The push for a parliamentary probe came as prosecutors have accelerated an investigation into allegations that two longtime confidants of Lee have received illicit money from property developers at the center of a development corruption scandal.

One of the aides, Kim Yong, has been arrested and indicted on charges of taking illegal political funds, while investigators raided the home and office of the other aide, Jeong Jin-sang, over suspicions that he took bribes.

The two have denied the allegations.

Chung said the party is willing to discuss a parliamentary probe or an independent counsel investigation if the current investigation is proven insufficient.

The DP, which holds a parliamentary majority with 169 out of 299 seats, said it will push ahead with a plenary session vote to launch a parliamentary probe on Nov. 24.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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