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Lee attends first trial on his development corruption, bribery casesBy Yonhap
Published : Oct. 6, 2023 - 11:13
Opposition leader Lee Jae-myung, recuperating from his 24-day hunger strike at a hospital, appeared at a court in Seoul on Friday to attend his first trial on charges of development corruption and bribery arising from his term as mayor of Seongnam, south of Seoul, years ago.
The chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party attended the trial held at the Seoul Central District Court to deliberate on charges against him of breach of duty, conflict of interest, bribery and concealment of criminal proceeds connected to development projects in Seongnam's Daejang-dong and Wirye districts, and the city's municipal football club.
It was his first outing from the hospital since the court rejected the prosecution's arrest warrant request for him on a separate corruption and bribery case nine days ago on Sept. 27.
Lee's first trial was originally scheduled for Sept. 15 but was postponed due to his hunger strike. Lee had again asked the court to put off his first trial citing health problems but was not granted permission. A defendant is obligated to appear at formal trials.
Lee, mayor of Seongnam from 2010-2018, was indicted in March this year for allegedly causing 489.5 billion won ($375.4 million) of financial loss to the city government by approving arrangements beneficial to private partners of the Daejang-dong project. He also faces suspicions of leaking inside secrets of the city government or the city's development corporation to private partners both in the Daejang-dong and Wirye projects.
The bribery charge involves allegations that Lee, serving as the head of Seongnam FC during his mayorship, attracted 13.3 billion won in corporate donations to the football club from four companies in return for administrative favors.
Lee is separately standing trial at the same court over alleged election law violations during his run for the 2022 presidential election. (Yonhap)
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