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5-yr term demanded for lawmaker over alleged embezzlement of donations for sex slavery victims

Independent Rep. Youn Mee-hyang (Yonhap)
Independent Rep. Youn Mee-hyang (Yonhap)

Prosecutors on Friday demanded a five-year prison term for independent Rep. Youn Mee-hyang on charges of embezzling funds donated to help support women who were forced into wartime sexual slavery by Japan during World War II.

Youn was accused of collecting hundreds of millions of won in donations to her private bank accounts and spent some of them for personal use, including living expenses, while heading a major civic group for wartime sexual slavery victims, the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery.

Youn led the group between 2005-20 before winning a parliamentary seat on the Democratic Party's (DP) ticket in 2020. The DP expelled Youn in 2021, and she has since been an independent.

Prosecutors have pressed charges of violating the subsidy management act and the donation collection act as well as embezzlement.