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Another man involved in development scandal found dead

National 22:26 December 21, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- An official at a public development company was found dead Tuesday in an apparent suicide amid a probe into a corruption-ridden development project, which political foes allege involves ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung.

Police in Seongnam, south of Seoul, said they discovered the body of Kim Moon-ki, head of the development division at Seongnam Development Corp., in an office of the company in the city at around 8:30 p.m.

Police were searching for Kim after his family reported him missing at 8:13 p.m. Authorities are investigating the exact cause of death.

An office at Seongnam Development Corp. in Seongnam, south of Seoul, is cordoned off on Dec. 21, 2021, after Kim Moon-ki, head of its development division, was found dead in an apparent suicide amid a probe into a corruption-ridden development project. (Yonhap)

Kim has been probed over his possible involvement in a massive corruption scandal surrounding a public-private apartment development project in the city. It was launched in 2015 when Lee, presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, served as Seongnam mayor.

Kim allegedly played a role in removing from the project contract a clause that would allow the city government to recoup excessive development profits from private investors.

In October, he was questioned as a witness by police and prosecution over whether the deletion was ordered by Yoo Dong-gyu, former acting president of the company. Yoo was arrested and indicted on charges of bribery and breach of trust. Opposition parties claim Yoo was a close aide to the presidential candidate.

Kim's death came after Yoo Han-gi, head of the Pocheon Urban Corp., who was also connected to the scandal, died by suicide on Dec. 10.

Prosecutors had requested an arrest warrant for the former senior manager at Seongnam Development Corp. on charges of receiving bribes from private-sector partners, who took huge profits from the project.

In this file photo, prosecution investigators from the Seoul Central Prosecutors Office raid the Seongnam mayor's office in the city, south of Seoul, on Oct. 21, 2021, as part of an investigation into a corruption-laden urban development scandal in the city. (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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