SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- The justice ministry on Wednesday submitted a request to the National Assembly for parliamentary consent for the arrest of a ruling party lawmaker.
Rep. Ha Young-je of the People Power Party has been under prosecution investigation on suspicion of receiving 70 million won (US$53,540) from a South Gyeongsang provincial council candidate ahead of last June's local elections.
Ha, a first-term lawmaker, is also accused of accepting 57.5 million won from local government officials and his aides to add to his regional offices' operating expenses.
The Changwon District Prosecutors Office requested a pretrial arrest warrant for Ha on Monday on charges of accepting bribes and illicit political funds.
According to the law, sitting lawmakers have immunity from arrest or detention while the National Assembly is in session. The prosecution must obtain parliamentary consent to arrest or detain lawmakers.
The arrest motion for Ha is expected to be reported to the Assembly on Thursday before being put to plenary vote a week later.
During the current 21st National Assembly, whose four-year term began in April 2020, a total of five arrest motions have been presented and three of them approved.
The two most recent motions for the arrest of two lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic Party -- Reps. Lee Jae-myung and Noh Woong-rae -- were voted down.
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