Anchor: Seven months after the opposition-strong parliament rejected the prosecution's request for the pretrial detention of Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung over various corruption charges, the state agency has filed for a second warrant, this time over his alleged role in the Baekhyeon-dong scandal and illicit remittances to North Korea. The news came after Lee, who had entered the 19th day of his hunger strike, was taken to a hospital amid a deterioration in his health.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: Prosecutors on Monday sought a pretrial detention warrant for main opposition Democratic Party(DP) Chairman Lee Jae-myung, who is suspected of corruption in the Baekhyeon-dong development scandal and third-party bribery in illicit remittances to North Korea.
The state investigation agency has applied charges of breach of duty, third-party bribery, violating the foreign currency transaction law and subornation of perjury.
The warrant request was made soon after Lee, who has been on a hunger strike in protest against the Yoon Suk Yeol administration since August 31, was transported to a hospital over health concerns.
Lee is accused of providing administrative and business favors to private investors in the project to build apartment buildings on the former site of the Korea Food Research Institute in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province from 2014 to 2015 while serving as the city mayor.
In the process, Lee is alleged to have caused financial losses to the Seongnam Development Corporation of at least 20 billion won, or around 15-point-one million U.S. dollars.
The DP chief is also suspected of scheming with former Gyeonggi Vice Mayor Lee Hwa-young while serving as provincial governor in 2019 to have local underwear manufacturer Ssangbangwool Group transfer eight million dollars to North Korea on behalf of the municipal government.
Out of the total remittance, five million dollars were allegedly earmarked for a smart farm project in the North, while another three million dollars were purportedly to cover Lee's trip to the regime.
In late 2018, Lee allegedly requested the aide of then-Seongnam Mayor Kim Byung-ryang to give false testimony about a case that involved impersonating a prosecutor.
Lee's detention motion is expected to be submitted to parliament on Monday or Tuesday, after which it will likely be put to a plenary vote before next week's Chuseok thanksgiving holiday.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.