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Prosecution starts probe of lawmakers involved in row over 'fast-track' bills

Politics 11:46 September 23, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- The prosecution said Monday it has looked into a lawmaker related to a row between rival political parties over the passage of controversial "fast-track" bills, heralding a full-scale probe into a score of cases involving the parliamentary conflict.

"Rep. Kim Kwan-young of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party underwent an overnight investigation on Sunday," the Seoul Nambu District Prosecutors Office said.

Kim is the first lawmaker summoned by the prosecution since police transferred all the cases involving the uproar to the prosecution early this month.

This image, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows the Seoul Nambu District Prosecutors Office. (Yonhap)

This image, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows the Seoul Nambu District Prosecutors Office. (Yonhap)

Earlier, the former Bareunmirae floor leader was accused by the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and civic organizations of having abused his power in making two Bareunmirae members of the Assembly's special committee on judicial reform -- Reps. Oh Shin Hwan and Kwon Eun-hee -- resign from it.

At the end of April, the ruling Democratic Party (DP), in collaboration with minor opposition parties, including Bareunmirae, fast-tracked the bills to set up a special unit under the president to investigate corruption by high-ranking public officials at the judicial reform committee despite strong physical resistance from the LKP. The rival parties lodged a total of 18 complaints, including libel, against each other's lawmakers after the scuffles.

Police, then, kicked off probes into a total of 121 concerned people, including 109 lawmakers. Only about 30 DP and minor opposition Justice Party legislators complied with them, with no LKP members responding, until Sept. 10, when police handed over the cases en bloc to the prosecution.

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