A member of South Korea’s opposition party has been arrested on allegations of violating election laws.
The suspect was taken in custody on Thursday for allegedly making false claims against President Moon Jae-in’s son during the country’s election campaign earlier this year.
Image: President Moon Jae-in
A court in Seoul granted approval for an arrest warrant as requested by prosecutors.
Lee You-mi, a member of the People’s Party, is facing charges for spreading rumors against opponents, an act which is considered a violation of the election laws in South Korea.
In the run-up to this year’s election, Lee made accusations against Moon Joon-yong, who he said was unfairly hired by a public agency sometime in 2006. The ‘fabricated lies’ were made ahead of the May 9 presidential election.
President Moon Jae-in was the country’s secretary when his son Joon-yong allegedly gained employment out of favoritism.
Local media reports confirm the suspect is being held for questioning. She was arrested earlier this week.
During interrogations, she reportedly admitted to ‘creating the anonymous tip-off by concocting an audio file and a captured screenshot of mobile phone chat disguising them as records of conversation with a man claiming to be a friend of Joon-yong’s exposing the alleged preferred treatment.’
The evidence was given to a former senior party official named Lee Jun-seo, who has also been indicted.
Lee (full names Lee You-mi) has confessed that she didn’t act alone in the crime.
However, the People’s Party and Lee Jun-seo have pleaded not guilty, saying they had no knowledge of the smearing plot against President Moon Jae-in and his son.
The suspects have been barred from leaving the country, and the former government official will face court trials this week. He has been summoned by the prosecution.
Media reports say Ahn Cheol-soo, the party’s former leader and Jae-in’s political rival at that time, has received SOS calls to help in the trials by making an official statement on the matter.
Image: Ann Cheol-soo
Cheol-soo is a physician and software entrepreneur. The 55-year-old is currently serving as a member of the South Korea’s National Assembly. He represented the People’s Party candidate for the 2017 presidential election.
His achievements in S. Korean politics include being a founding co-leader of the People’s Party alongside Chun Jung-bae. He previously a co-founder and co-chairman of the NPAD from March to July 2014.
Although he ran for the 2012 presidential election as an independent candidate, Chel-soo withdrew from the race barely one month before citizens went to the polls. His decision was born out of a need to support the current president Moon Jae-in, who he competed against in 2017.
Chel-soo founded AhnLab, Inc., an antivirus software company, in 1995.