South Korean Opposition Leader Questioned Over Corruption Allegations

Lee Jae-myung, leader of the main opposition party in South Korea and former mayor of Seongnam between 2010 and 2018, was questioned on Tuesday (10.01.2023) by prosecutors investigating a possible case of corruption. It is believed that the local government attracted around 17,000 million won (about 13.7 million dollars) worth of donations for Seongnam FC – a professional soccer club owned by the city – from 2016 to 2018, in exchange for administrative favors from companies such as internet giant Naver or construction firm Doosan E&C.

The case began last year when a senior Doosan official was charged with donating 5.5 billion won (around $4.4 million) for alleged favors. Lee has denied the accusations, claiming the investigation is politically motivated and aimed at eliminating his political opposition. Speaking to the media at the prosecution headquarters in Seongnam, Lee argued that investigators have fabricated the charges against him and other former city officials.

Lee’s statements were echoed by his supporters, who crowded around him to show their solidarity. President Yoon Suk-yeol, who won the 2021 presidential election, was the former attorney general who initiated the probe. The allegations are still under investigation and only time will tell if they will lead to convictions.

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