DP leader to appear before prosecutors for questioning Saturday

Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung will appear before prosecutors this weekend for questioning over his alleged involvement in a company’s illegal money transfers to North Korea, his party said Thursday.

Lee, chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), will show up at the Suwon District Prosecutors Office on Saturday, DP spokesperson Park Sung-joon told reporters, after a tug-of-war between the two sides over the date of Lee’s appearance.

Prosecutors had demanded Lee come for questioning between Thursday and Saturday. But the DP insisted Lee will appear Tuesday next week after the end of this week’s parliamentary interpellation session going on through Friday.

“After repeatedly slighting the National Assembly, the prosecution issued an unprecedented, coercive summons that Lee abandon his duty to attend a regular parliamentary session and appear” for questioning, the DP spokesperson said.

“We express deep regret over the prosecution’s anti-constitutional behavior of denying a lawmaker’s legislative activity,” he said. “Right after the interpellation session is over, Chairman Lee will appear at the prosecution office on Saturday.”

It will mark the fifth time that Lee has appeared for prosecution questioning. He has been under investigation over a series of corruption allegations that he claims were fabricated, and was last questioned on Aug. 17.

The investigation centers on allegations that Ssangbangwool Group, an underwear manufacturer, unlawfully remitted US$8 million to North Korea between January 2019 and January 2020 on behalf of Gyeonggi Province.

Prosecutors suspect that $3 million was intended to facilitate Lee’s planned visit to Pyongyang, while the remainder was meant for Gyeonggi’s smart farm support program in North Korea.

Source: Yonhap News Agency