Dead: 3 key witnesses in corruption cases tied to leftist South Korean presidential candidate

by WorldTribune Staff, January 14, 2022

South Koreans are calling for investigations into the deaths of three key witnesses in corruption and bribery cases linked to presidential candidate Lee Jae-Myung, a report said.

Most recently, whistleblower, Lee Byung-Chul was found dead at a motel in Seoul on Jan. 11, after his chilling public posts, East Asia Research Center reported.

Lee Jae-Myung

The other two key witnesses who were discovered dead were Yoon Han-Gi and Kim Moon-Ki.

“With the three consecutive deaths of major witnesses of the scandals related to Lee Jae-Myung, the public is demanding investigations. People Power Party and even Justice Party are calling for investigations as well,” the report noted.

“I don’t know why such unfortunate events continue to happen,” People Power Party Chairman Lee Jun-Seok said in a Facebook post. “I don’t even have hopes for candidate Lee Jae-Myung to say anything about him (Lee Byung-Chul). Let’s keep watching and stay angered.”

Lee Jae-Myung has been accused of having links to organized crime, and for being involved in an allegedly corrupt property development project in Gyeonggi province when he was governor. Investigators are still examining accusations that officials collaborated with developers to buy land cheaply and rake in huge profits

According to the report, Lee Byung-Chul’s recordings exposed that Lee Jae-Myung’s lawyer, Lee Tae-Hyung, had received ₩300 million ($252,000) and stocks worth ₩20 billion ($16.8 million) from Lee Jae-Myung “as proxy payments, which is different from Lee Jae-Myung’s claim that the fees for the entire legal defense team of 14 lawyers was less than ₩300 million ($252,000).”

In social media posts, Lee Byung-Chul vowed that he would not commit suicide.

On Dec. 10, Lee wrote: “Although my current life is ruined, I absolutely have no thoughts about committing suicide. I want to see my daughter and son get married.”

On Dec. 22, Lee wrote: “This morning, those who were on the front line in anti-Lee Jae-Myung activities are busy checking with each other whether people are alive or not. (nervous laugh). Why didn’t lawyer Lee Min-Seok answer the phone in the morning, causing an emergency situation” (to verify whether people are alive or not).

Kim Moon-Ki, head of the development division at the Seongnam Development Corp., was found dead on Dec. 21, days after Yoon Han-Gi, head of the Pocheon Urban Corp., reportedly died by suicide on Dec. 10.

South Korea’s presidential election is on March 9.

According to a Gallup Korea poll conducted on Jan. 4-6, Lee Jae-Myung of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea leads with 36 percent, Yoon Seok-Youl of the People Power Party is at 26 percent, and Ahn Cheol-Soo of the People Party or Party of Nationals is at 15 percent.

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