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(LEAD) Prosecutors indict dozens of lawmakers over 'fast-track' scuffle

All News 14:37 January 02, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors indicted dozens of ruling and opposition party officials Thursday for their scuffle at the National Assembly in April last year over placing a few reform bills on a "fast track."

In April, the ruling Democratic Party (DP), in collaboration with minor opposition parties, including the center-right Bareunmirae Party, fast-tracked several reform bills, including one aimed at setting up an independent unit to investigate corruption by high-ranking officials.

The move triggered strong physical resistance from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), including Bareunmirae Rep. Chae Yi-bae being forcibly confined to his office for five hours. Following the scuffle, rival parties lodged a total of 18 complaints, including libel, against each other's lawmakers.

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office said it has indicted 24 LKP lawmakers and 5 DP lawmakers on charges of breaching National Assembly law, obstructing the execution of public duties and causing a commotion at the National Assembly.

Among those indicted were political heavyweights such as LKP party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn and then-floor leader Rep. Na Kyung-won.

The prosecution, meanwhile, said only 18 of the indicted ruling and opposition lawmakers will face court trials.

The remaining 11 whose charges were seen as relatively light will likely be fined without going through trials.

This photo taken on April 26, 2019, shows Liberty Korea Party lawmakers forming a human barricade at the National Assembly in Seoul to protest against fast-track bills. (Yonhap)


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