Anchor: Kim Yong, the former vice-president of a liberal think tank and close aide to main opposition Democratic Party(DP) leader Lee Jae-myung, has been sentenced to five years in prison for receiving illicit election contributions. Kim was found guilty of receiving hundreds of millions of won from a private developer that was then used as political funds for Lee’s presidential campaign last year.
Max Lee reports.
Report: A close aide to main opposition Democratic Party(DP) chair Lee Jae-myung was hit with a sentence of five years in prison and a fine of 70 million won for violating the Political Funds Act.
The Seoul Central District Court on Thursday handed down the penalty for Kim Yong, former deputy head of the Institute for Democracy think tank, while also ordering him to repay 670 million won, or around 520-thousand U.S. dollars.
Also sentenced over the Daejang-dong land development scandal was attorney Nam Wook, a key figure who got eight months in prison, while Yoo Dong-gyu, former chief of planning for the Seongnam Development Corporation and Jeong Min-yong, who once served as the head of the Seongnam Development Corporation's strategic project team, were both found not guilty.
Prosecutors had alleged that Kim colluded with the chief planner to receive a combined 847 million won in illicit political funds on four occasions between April and August 2021 from those who benefited in the development project.
At the time, the DP was preparing for a presidential primary, with Kim the vice chief of then-candidate Lee Jae-myung’s election camp, tasked with securing and managing election funds.
The prosecution suspected that the money was used as political funds for Lee's presidential campaign, with the court finding that Kim received 600 million won in illicit political funds and 70 million won in bribes.
Kim was also charged with pocketing 190 million won in bribes from 2013 to 2014 from Yoo in return for business favors related to the Daejang-dong project.
Prosecutors sought a 12-year prison term for Kim, who was immediately taken into custody after sentencing as the court expressed concerns over the potential destruction of evidence.
Max Lee, KBS World Radio News.