Opposition floor leader disobeys second summons
The floor leader of the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) did not appear before prosecutors on Monday morning, disobeying for the second time summons for questioning on suspicions of taking bribes from ailing savings banks.
The move following Rep. Park Jie-won's first disregard of the subpoena on Thursday was widely expected because the lawmaker has maintained that he will not cooperate with the "politically-driven" investigation.
"The prosecutors should justifiably indict me if they have any proof," Park said during a party meeting at the National Assembly on Monday. "I will then justifiably attend a trial to prove my innocence."
The prosecutors said they will soon decide whether to send a summons to Park one more time or seek an arrest warrant for him.
In South Korea, parliamentary approval is required to jail a lawmaker while the National Assembly is in session.
The three-term lawmaker is suspected of accepting around 100 million won ($87,657) in kickbacks from the now-jailed Solomon Savings Bank Chairman Lim Suk in return for influence peddling on behalf of the savings bank before the general elections in 2008, according to the prosecutors.
Also, the prosecutors have reportedly secured testimonies from the now-jailed former Bohae Mutual Savings Bank Chairman Oh Moon-chol and Bohae Brewery Co. Chairman Lim Kun-woo, who each allegedly gave some 30 million won to Park.
Park, who had served as a chief of presidential staff and a culture minister under former President Kim Dae-jung, became the floor leader of the center-left party in May. (Yonhap)