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Police transfer Lee's alleged election law violation case to prosecution

All News 16:50 August 29, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) -- Police have wrapped up their investigation into allegations that Democratic Party (DP) chairman Lee Jae-myung lied about a controversial land development project during his presidential campaign last year, in violation of the election law, and transferred the case to the prosecution, officials said Monday.

According to the officials, the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency has concluded its probe into Lee's suspected violation of the election law in connection with the so-called Baekhyeon-dong Scandal and sent the case to the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office.

This file photo shows then Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung appearing in a parliamentary audit on Oct. 20, 2021. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows then Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung appearing in a parliamentary audit on Oct. 20, 2021. (Yonhap)

The scandal centered on allegations that the municipal government of Seongnam, just south of Seoul, gave special treatment to a private developer, which developed Seongnam's Baekhyeon-dong district into apartment complexes, between 2015 and 2016, when Lee was the city's mayor.

The private developer reportedly earned windfall profits after the city somehow cancelled an original plan to provide rental homes and allowed the developer to sell homes to consumers.

Lee, as a DP presidential candidate, alleged during a parliamentary inspection on Oct. 20 last year that the special favor in the Baekhyeon-dong project was given at the request of the land ministry.

But the People Power Party (PPP), the then-opposition party, said the special treatment was found to have been voluntarily awarded by the Seongnam city government and filed a complaint against Lee with the police on charges of spreading false information in violation of the election law.

The transfer came ahead of the expiry of the statute of limitations for the case slated for Sept. 9. The prosecution is said to decide whether to indict Lee in the Baekhyeon-dong scandal as soon as possible.

Lee ran for president as a DP candidate but was narrowly defeated by PPP candidate Yoon Suk-yeol. Lee was elected as the DP's new chairman on Sunday.


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