Lawmaker appears for questioning over DP’s election bribery scandal

A lawmaker appeared before prosecutors for questioning Friday over his alleged involvement in a cash-for-vote campaign ahead of the 2021 leadership election of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP).

Rep. Lee Sung-man, now an independent as he left the DP in early May after the scandal surfaced, arrived at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office in southern Seoul for questioning over the suspected distribution of "cash envelopes" to party members ahead of the election.

The scandal centers on allegations that Song Yong-gil's campaign officials distributed cash totaling 94 million won (US$70,475) to party members, including some 10-20 lawmakers, to help him get elected as party leader ahead of the party's national convention in May 2021.

Song was ultimately elected party chairman at that time.

Lee is accused of involvement in the alleged distribution of 9 million won of the total to the heads of the party's regional chapters. Prosecutors were expected to grill him over how the money was collected and distributed.

Lee denied the allegations and accused the prosecution of cooking up allegations against him.

"I will thoroughly go over factual issues and put myself to the probe faithfully and squarely," Lee told reporters after arriving at the prosecutors' office. "I will have my innocence proven."

Earlier this month, prosecutors arrested Kang Rae-gu, another key suspect in the scandal. Kang, while working for Song during the party convention, was accused of collecting about 80 million won of the total money allegedly distributed.

Source: Yonhap News Agency