South Korean Prosecutors’ Office Seeks Disciplinary Action Against Prosecutor for Election BidSeoul Opposition Leader Lee Jae-myung Unable to Attend Corruption Trial Due to Stabbing Injury

Daejeon, South Korea – The Supreme Prosecutors Office (SPO) in South Korea has formally requested the justice ministry to initiate disciplinary action against an incumbent prosecutor for announcing his candidacy in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Kim Sang-min, a senior prosecutor from the Daejeon High Prosecutors Office, recently declared his intention to run for a parliamentary seat during a public event in Changwon, his hometown, where he also celebrated the publication of his book. Although Kim subsequently resigned, his resignation has not yet been accepted.

According to Yonhap News Agency, there is also a request for disciplinary action against Park Dae-beom, another senior prosecutor at the Gwangju High Prosecutors Office. Park is under scrutiny for engaging in what the SPO termed "inappropriate" contacts with external parties in relation to the election.

The SPO stated that it had conducted an inspection and found both prosecutors in violation of their duty to maintain political neutrality. This led to the immediate request for disciplinary measures against them.

Additionally, the SPO revealed that Kim, while serving at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office in September, had sent text messages to residents of his hometown during the Chuseok holiday, hinting at his political ambitions.

SEOUL - Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung will be unable to attend his corruption trial for the foreseeable future as he recovers from injuries sustained in a stabbing attack, according to his legal representative.

According to Yonhap News Agency, During a preparatory hearing at the Seoul Central District Court on Friday, Lee's lawyer conveyed that the opposition leader is still recovering and faces difficulty in speaking, making his attendance at the trials challenging for the time being. Lee, who is the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), is on trial for breach of trust and other corruption charges related to development projects in multiple districts in Seongnam, south of Seoul, during his tenure as mayor.

The court acknowledged the situation but stated that the trial would proceed without attuning to Lee's schedule. It plans to go forward with witness examinations, including bringing in a key suspect in the case, Yoo Dong-gyu, even in Lee's absence. The court noted that while the defendant's presence is generally required in a criminal trial, witness examinations can still occur if the defendant is absent, and the defendant can review the witness accounts later.

The incident that led to Lee's current health concerns occurred on January 2, when he was stabbed in the neck by a man in his 60s, who approached him posing as an autograph-seeker during his visit to Busan, a southeastern port city. Following the attack, Lee underwent surgery for a laceration to a major vein in his neck and was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.

This development in Lee Jae-myung's trial highlights the intersection of legal proceedings and unexpected personal health challenges faced by public figures.

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