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Main Opposition Leader Calls for Investigation into Ex-Gyeonggi Vice Governor's 'Drinking' Comments

Written: 2024-04-16 17:09:47Updated: 2024-04-16 17:16:13

Main Opposition Leader Calls for Investigation into Ex-Gyeonggi Vice Governor's 'Drinking' Comments

Photo : YONHAP News

Main opposition Democratic Party(DP) leader Lee Jae-myung has called on investigators to look for evidence to prove an ex-Gyeonggi vice governor's claims he was persuaded to fabricate statements regarding an ongoing case on illegal remittance to North Korea.

Former Gyeonggi Province Vice Governor Lee Hwa-young during his trial on April 4 said he was coerced by former Ssangbangwool Chairman Kim Sung-tae and the group's vice chairman Bang Yong-cheol to fabricate his statement on the remittance case. The former vice governor claims that this persuasion occurred during a meeting over food and drinks inside a room of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office.

However, the Suwon prosecution service has dismissed Lee Hwa-young's claim as "preposterous," stressing that such a gathering would be unimaginable under the current prisoner custody system. 

While attending a hearing for his own trial on breach of trust and bribery at the Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday, the DP leader said the former vice governor's remarks appear to be 100 percent true judging by the attitude of the prosecution. Lee Jae-myung added that the prosecution should check surveillance cameras, court attendance records and the statements of the prison officers concerned.

Lee Hwa-young served as vice governor while Lee Jae-myung was governor of Gyeonggi Province from 2018-2021.

The former vice governor is currently standing trial on charges of his alleged involvement in the illegal transfer of eight million U.S. dollars to North Korea through the Ssangbangwool Group.

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