Anchor: Opposition chief Lee Jae-myung appeared in court Tuesday for a hearing to decide whether to put him behind bars for his trial on corruption and other charges. After carrying out a hunger strike for more than three weeks, Lee walked slowly with a cane into the courthouse without answering questions from reporters.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: Main opposition Democratic Party(DP) Chairman Lee Jae-myung appeared for a warrant hearing to determine his pretrial detention Tuesday morning.
Swarmed by reporters outside the Seoul Central District Court, the gaunt DP chief stayed mum as he walked with a cane into the building after his prolonged hunger strike that lasted for 24 days.
Lee has been under investigation for breach of trust related to land development projects and third-party bribery.
While the prosecution is calling for Lee to be put behind bars for his trial given the gravity of the charges and risk of destruction of evidence, the DP chief’s defense lawyers argue that the accusations are groundless.
A decision on the warrant is expected to come Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
During his time as mayor of Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, he allegedly granted various privileges to private developers and caused losses to the city government by changing zoning regulations for the former site of the Korean Food Research Institute in Baekhyeon-dong between 2014 and 2015.
The prosecution is also looking into suspicions that he was involved in the remittance of some eight million U.S. dollars to North Korea by the chair of Ssanbangwool Group between January 2019 and January 2020 when Lee was Gyeonggi Province governor that was purportedly transferred to facilitate his prospective trip to the regime.
Lee had been hospitalized since last week due to the hunger strike and left for the courthouse directly from the hospital.
The National Assembly last week approved a motion allowing prosecutors to arrest him in a closed vote that saw up to 39 defections from the DP.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS Wortld Radio News.