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Opposition leader Lee expected to appear for prosecutors' questioning alone this weekend

Politics 15:19 January 25, 2023

SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung is expected to appear for a scheduled questioning at a prosecutors office this weekend without the company of party lawmakers, sources said Wednesday.

Lee plans to show up for questioning at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office on Saturday as part of an investigation into corruption allegations surrounding a property development project in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, launched while Lee was serving as the city's mayor from 2010 to 2018.

It will mark the second time for Lee to undergo questioning since he took over as chair of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP). Last time he appeared for questioning on Jan. 10 as part of a separate corruption probe, a group of party lawmakers accompanied him in a show of solidarity for him.

But Lee plans to go to the prosecutors office alone this weekend, Rep. Cho Jeong-sik, the DP's secretary general, said, calling on party lawmakers to respect Lee's decision.

Observers say Lee's decision to go alone appears to be aimed at maximizing the perception that the prosecution probe is political suppression on the opposition party while at the same time promoting the party's unity by minimizing any negative effects the investigation can have on the party.

The main opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung (C) receives reporters' questions in front of the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, on Jan. 10, 2023, after being questioned by prosecutors over bribery allegations. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

The main opposition Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung (C) receives reporters' questions in front of the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, on Jan. 10, 2023, after being questioned by prosecutors over bribery allegations. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

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