(LEAD) Lee’s wife indicted for election law violation

SUWON, South Korea, Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung's wife, Kim Hye-kyung, was indicted without detention on Wednesday on charges of violating the election law by offering meals to party figures ahead of the 2022 presidential election, the Suwon District Prosecutors Office said. Kim is accused of providing meals worth 104,000 won (US$78) to six people, including three figures related to the then ruling Democratic Party, at a Seoul restaurant on Aug. 2, 2021, ahead of the party's presidential primary, in violation of the election law. Kim's indictment comes soon after an appeals court upheld the conviction of a key suspect in the allegation that Kim misused a provincial government's corporate credit cards years ago. The Suwon High Court confirmed a lower court's 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for the suspect, surnamed Bae, finding her guilty of violating the election law through unlawful use of the Gyeonggi provincial government's corporate cards for Kim. Bae, who worked for the Gyeong gi Province government as a Grade 5 official from July 2018 to September 2021, when Lee served as governor, is suspected of serving as a protocol secretary for Kim during the three-year-plus period. Bae was indicted for using a Gyeonggi corporate card to pay for the meals Kim had with the six people in Seoul on Aug. 2, 2021. She is also accused of making false statements about performing private duties for the Lee family and getting prescription drugs for Kim. She has been separately under prosecution probe on suspicion of purchasing food with the Gyeonggi government's corporate cards for personal use by Kim. In this regard, the Suwon prosecution said it was still investigating Kim's alleged misuse of the Gyeonggi corporate cards through Bae between 2018 and 2022, noting a prior police probe already uncovered about 150 cases of suspected credit card misuse, worth about 20 million won, by Kim. Source: Yonhap News Agency