Lee Hwa-young, Lee Jae-myeong election campaign supported by Ssangbangwool corporate vehicle and driver

Former Ssangbangul Chairman Kim Seong-tae (left) and Lee Hwa-young, former vice-governor of peace in Gyeonggi-do. /Chosun Ilbo DB

Former lawmaker Lee Hwa-young, who was arrested and indicted on charges of receiving bribes from the Ssangbangwool Group, was found to have received a separate corporate vehicle and driver from Ssangbangwool during the June 13 local elections in 2018, before taking office as vice-governor for peace in Gyeonggi-do. The prosecution recently added this part to the charge of violating the Political Fund Act while changing the indictment of former lawmaker Lee.

At the time of the 2018 local elections, Mr. Lee, who was an outside director of Ssangbangwool, served as the chief of staff for the election camp of Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung. After Governor Lee was elected, he was appointed Vice Governor for Peace in July 2018, and visited Pyongyang in October to draw up an economic cooperation agreement with North Korea. He is also under investigation for having Gyeonggi-do pay for the North Korean smart farm support project to Ssangbangwool.

On the 28th, at the hearing of the 11th Criminal Division of the Suwon District Court (Presiding Judge Shin Jin-woo), during the trial of former Vice-Governor Lee’s bribery case, the prosecution found that Ssangbangwool’s side had been charged with a corporate vehicle from May 15 to July 9, ahead of the June 13, 2018 local elections. At the time, the driver A’s statement that the driver was provided to Lee was presented.

Mr. A testified, “During the Gyeonggi Governor’s election campaign, I picked up Mr. Lee from his home in Myeonmok-dong, Seoul at dawn and went to Gyeonggi-do to campaign, and after the election, I went to Yeouido-dong, Seoul, where Mr. Lee’s personal office was.” It was also found that he testified that “Mr. Lee asked Ssangbangwool to replace the Lexus with a carnival, saying he needed a bigger vehicle for the election campaign for the governor of Gyeonggi-do.”

Mr. B, an employee of the Ssangbangwool finance team at the time who appeared as a witness at the trial, said “No” to the prosecution’s question, “Did Ssangbangwool generally provide vehicles and corporate cards to outside directors?”

The prosecution arrested and indicted Mr. Lee in October of last year, and from July 2018 to August 2022, he allegedly received 320 million won worth of illegal political He pointed out the alleged donation of funds. Among them, the money (approximately 260 million won) received during the tenure of the Vice Governor for Peace (July 2018-January 2020) and the CEO of KINTEX (July 2020-September 2022), who were public officials, are also charged with bribery. did.

However, the prosecution changed Lee’s indictment last month to include additional political funds received from Ssangbangbang during the local elections, prior to his inauguration as deputy governor. In addition, details were also specified in the indictment of former chairman Kim Seong-tae of the recently indicted Ssangbangwool Group.

Prosecutors said former Chairman Kim donated 14.97 million won to Lee during the local elections in 2018, including giving driver A a corporate card to use about 10.32 million won and paying a salary of 4.65 million won.

Meanwhile, on the next date, March 3, the court plans to conduct a witness examination of Vice Chairman Bang Yong-chul, who was indicted along with former vice-governor Lee. Vice-Chairman Bang denied his allegations of bribery and violation of the Political Fund Act, so on the 24th, through a lawyer, he said, “It is not appropriate to express a different position from former Chairman Kim Seong-tae, who was repatriated to Korea and is on trial.” I denied the allegation saying there was no relationship, but I will admit it.”

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