Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, came out 11 hours after being summoned to the prosecution. He said, “As expected, not a single piece of evidence was presented,” and “I feel sympathy for the political prosecution.”
Representative Lee said this in front of the back gate of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office building after being investigated by the prosecution on the 9th.
He said, “I spent this long time based on things like Kim Seong-tae’s words that I heard, and circumstances that do not serve as evidence.”
At the same time, he said, “This kind of behavior of privatizing the power of the prosecution to eliminate political opponents and manipulate crimes is a bad habit that must be eliminated, and it is for the government to use that power to pay more attention to the economy, improve the people’s livelihood, and make efforts to prevent the Korean Peninsula from heading toward war.” “It’s the president’s job,” he added.
Regarding the prosecution’s notice of attendance on the 12th, he said, “What power do I have? He said, “If the omnipotent prosecutors come and go, aren’t they losers who have no choice but to go?” He then said, “They said they were not able to complete the investigation today and will summon me again, so we will agree on a date and go for the fifth or sixth time,” and expressed his willingness to participate in the second investigation.
Representative Lee’s lawyer, Park Gyun-taek, said, “The prosecution notified the investigation on the 12th, but the date has not been confirmed,” and said that a decision would be made after review.
In response to the question, ‘Please introduce the statements that CEO Lee made in person,’ Attorney Park said, “Most of them were said directly, and there were only a few quotes from statements,” and “The most representative thing is, ‘Kim Seong-tae was not a person to deal with.'” He added, “In the past, He said, “Because I know everything, including power and how money was made, I did not allow access in order to avoid being taken advantage of by former Chairman Kim Seong-tae.”
He continued, “There is no problem with Gyeonggi Province’s promotion of the smart farm project itself. “The question is whether it is illegal or legal, but Representative Lee has never made up his mind to provide cash.”
Regarding the review of the record, he said, “I only read a third of it because there were parts I couldn’t agree with,” and added, “I will think about how to respond in the future regarding its effectiveness.”
In relation to this, the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office said, “Before today’s appearance, Representative Lee Jae-myung promised in advance to include a late-night investigation after 9 p.m. and an all-day investigation, and the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office conducted the investigation to the minimum necessary considering the suspect’s health condition.”
At the same time, he said, “CEO Jae-myung Lee did not cooperate with the investigation, such as refusing to make specific statements throughout the investigation and replacing them with affidavits, or consistently giving repetitive and long-winded answers unrelated to the questions, and giving tongue-in-cheek answers, which caused a setback in the investigation.”
The Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office also revealed that it was Representative Lee who decided to appear before the prosecution on the 12th. The Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office said, “During the investigation, Representative Lee Jae-myung first requested that he would appear on the 12th if he was only allowed to be investigated by 6 p.m. today, and the prosecution accepted this request. Although Representative Lee Jae-myung previously said he would continue to appear on the 12th, he reversed his position and re-appeared. He said he would not set a date.”
In addition, it was said that Representative Lee made an unreasonable claim that his statement was omitted while reading the report, did not answer the question of which part was actually missing, and unilaterally left the room without even signing and sealing the record.
Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office announced on the 12th that it would conclude the investigation into the remaining suspects against CEO Lee.
Representative Lee appeared at the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office on this day and was interrogated for 8 hours and 10 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 6:40 p.m. After reading the report for about three hours, Representative Lee went outside the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office building at 9:43 p.m.
When news of the end of Representative Lee’s investigation was heard, about 200 members of progressive groups (police estimate), including the ‘Candlelight Solidarity’, who were at the back gate of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office, chanted, “Send Lee Jae-myung out,” “Impeach the political prosecutors,” and “Invest Kim Kun-hee as a special prosecutor.” shouted slogans. Some members used vuvuzelas, whistles, waved cell phone lights, and chanted together.
During the investigation, the prosecution asked whether CEO Lee was aware that Ssangbangwool had delivered a total of $8 million to North Korea on behalf of Gyeonggi Province, including $5 million in support for smart farms and $3 million in expenses for the Gyeonggi Governor’s visit to North Korea.
After submitting a written statement completely denying the charges, Representative Lee is said to have replaced most of his answers with a statement. It is said that he gave long answers to some questions that were as long as two pages of A4 .
The response time took longer than expected, and as Representative Lee requested the investigation be terminated, the prosecution investigation was reportedly halted while questions related to the payment of $5 million in smart farm project expenses among Ssangbangwool’s alleged remittances to North Korea were conducted.
About half of the prepared investigation, including the $3 million budget for the governor’s visit to North Korea, was not completed.
Representative Lee stated in his statement, “Not only has the declarant (Jae-myung Lee) not received any direct or indirect improper favors from Ssangbangwool Group officials, he has also never instructed, encouraged, or requested to provide money or benefits to anyone, including North Korea.” .
He continued, “When I was serving as the governor of Gyeonggi Province, I attempted to conduct humanitarian aid and exchange projects with North Korea, but in relation to this, I have never provided or requested to provide North Korea with any money or valuables that violate South Korean laws or UN sanctions, regardless of the reason.” denied the charges.
Representative Lee also said, “If you look at the testimony of high-ranking officials of Ssangbangwool and Ssangbangwool’s documents during the trial of former Deputy Governor Lee, the $5 million in the name of paying for smart farm costs is compensation for the economic안전놀이터 cooperation project with North Korea that Ssangbangwool signed with North Korea.” “It is questionable whether the $3 million visit fee that the chairman said he gave to North Korea was actually given to North Korea, and even if he did, it is a reasonable inference to view it as compensation for Kim Seong-tae’s visit to North Korea to publicly sign an economic cooperation agreement with North Korea,” he argued.
Rather, he defined Chairman Kim’s illegal actions, saying that Ssangbangwool Group affiliates, which emerged as stocks related to economic cooperation with North Korea at the time, benefited from the rise in stock prices.
In particular, Representative Lee’s side emphasized that the statements of former Chairman Kim and Vice Governor Lee Hwa-young were unreliable.
Representative Lee said, “The only evidence for the charge of sending money to North Korea is the statements of Kim Seong-tae and Lee Hwa-young,” and added, “These statements are inconsistent as they continue to change over time, and their credibility is highly questionable, especially as they are in a difficult situation, such as being continuously investigated during an arrest trial.” “It’s amazing,” he said.
He also criticized the prosecution’s investigation as being manipulated to target CEO Lee.
Representative Lee said, “The prosecution’s investigation into Ssangbangwool first started with payment of attorney’s fees, then changed to payment of smart farm fees, and then again to payment of travel expenses to North Korea.” He added, “It seems like the prosecution is not investigating the case, but the person. He pointed out, “This is a situation in which he is being accused of violating the national flag by overshadowing the humanitarian exchange projects with North Korea that he normally carried out as a provincial governor.”