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People's Party denies kickback scandal

All Headlines 14:32 June 15, 2016

SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's minor opposition People's Party said Wednesday that its own investigation showed the party has not received kickbacks from local advertisement companies, denying the allegations that it was involved in an embezzlement scandal.

"None of the funds from advertisement firms came into the party," said Rep. Lee Sang-don from the People's Party.

The remark came after Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office raised the possibility that Rep. Kim Su-min may have received some 178 million won (US$151,000) from local advertisement firms by forging contracts.

The 30-year-old Kim, who was in charge of a public relations campaign for the minor opposition party during April's general election, is the youngest lawmaker in the 20th National Assembly.

The fact-finding team's investigation centered on whether the funds, provided to a venture firm headed by Kim, were sent to the party.

On Wednesday, Kim claimed she did not pay any money to the party to win her candidacy, adding there were also no kickbacks.

Political pundits said the issue could emerge as a major drag on the young party that grabbed a surprising 38 seats in the general election.

Ahn Cheol-soo, co-chairman of the People's Party and a potential presidential candidate, is also set to face hurdles in his ambitions if the allegation turn out to be true, they added.

Prosecutors plan to summon an ex-vice secretary general of the party to get more details on the allegations being raised, although the official has asked for a delay so he could talks to legal advisers.

colin@yna.co.kr
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