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Opposition Lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan Commits Suicide Amid Funding Probe

Write: 2018-07-23 13:40:44Update: 2018-07-23 17:01:29

Opposition Lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan Commits Suicide Amid Funding Probe

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Rep. Roh Hoe-chan of the minor opposition Justice Party committed suicide on Monday. Roh’s death comes amid allegations that he received 50 million won in illegal political funds from "druking," a blogger involved in an opinion rigging scandal.
Choi You Sun has this report.

Report: According to the police, the body of Justice Party floor leader Roh Hoe-chan was found in front of an apartment building in Seoul's Jung district by a security guard just before 9:40 a.m. Monday.

Roh is believed to have jumped from a window between the building’s 17th and 18th floors. Authorities found the lawmaker’s jacket carrying his identification card, business card and a suicide note on the stairs connecting the two floors.

In his note, Roh is reported to have admitted to having received funds from the blogger "druking," the central figure in an online opinion rigging scandal, but denied they were related to illicit favors. The lawmaker also apologized to his family.

The three-term lawmaker has been suspected of receiving 50 million won in illegal political funds from "druking" in March 2016 through a high school alumnus surnamed Do.

Roh is also alleged to have received 20 million won in lecture fees from an online community run by the blogger.

Do is one of the blogger's most trusted associates and is purported to have illegally collected political funds for "druking" to deliver to politicians and forged evidence to clear the blogger's supporters of charges related to the illegal political funds.

News of Roh's suicide came as a shock, especially after the lawmaker strongly denied receiving any illegal political funds, adding he would fully cooperate with the special counsel probing the case.

The 61-year-old former labor activist entered politics during the late 1990s. He helped found the Democratic Labor Party in 2000, and was elected as a lawmaker by proportional representation during the 2004 general elections.

During his second term as a lawmaker, Roh lost his parliamentary seat after he was found guilty of charges related to exposing a list of seven prosecutors who received illegal funds from Samsung Group.

Having built an image as a clean politician, Roh returned to central politics by winning a parliamentary seat in the conservative stronghold of South Gyeongsang Province during the 2016 general elections.

With his sense of humor and wit, Roh became a leading progressive politician who is considered to have greatly contributed to the rising popularity of the country's minor progressive party.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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