Prosecutors demand 6-yr sentence for ex-Ulsan mayor in election meddling case

Prosecutors on Monday demanded imprisonment of six and five years, respectively, for former Ulsan Mayor Song Cheol-ho and opposition lawmaker Hwang Un-ha in a court hearing on a 2018 election-meddling scandal in the southeastern city.

Song, a longtime friend of former President Moon Jae-in, was indicted in January 2020 on charges of conspiring with Hwang and some presidential aides to win the 2018 Ulsan mayoral election.

Hwang, who served as Ulsan’s police chief at that time, was indicted on suspicion of conducting a controversial investigation into the camp of Song’s election rival and incumbent ruling party chief, Kim Gi-hyeon, at the request of Song and some aides to Moon.

Making prison sentence demands in the hearing at the Seoul Central District Court, prosecutors said an unprecedented government intervention in the 2018 Ulsan mayoral election and abuse of police authority undermined the fairness of the election.

“Song took the lead in committing the crime and asked Hwang to conduct an investigation, resulting in him being fraudulently elected and effectively benefiting from it,” the prosecution said.

Regarding Hwang, the prosecution said, “Despite his obligation to be politically neutral as a high-ranking police official, he abused his investigative power to intervene in the election for political greed and became a lawmaker as a result.”

Prosecutors also requested prison sentences for three officials of Moon’s presidential office. They asked Baek Won-woo be sentenced to three years in prison and Han Byung-do and Park Hyoung-chul be sentenced to 1 1/2 years each. The sentencing hearing is expected to take place late this year or early next year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency