[사설] Baekhyeon-dong lobbyist found guilty in first trial, Lee Jae-myeong’s ‘judicial risk’ grows bigger

[사설] Baekhyeon-dong lobbyist found guilty in first trial, Lee Jae-myeong’s ‘judicial risk’ grows bigger


[서울=뉴시스] Reporter Kim Jin-ah = Kim In-seop, former CEO of Korea Housing Technology, who was pointed out as a ‘lobbyist’ for suspicion of preferential treatment for Baekhyeon-dong development, is attending the first trial hearing held at the Seoul Central District Court in Seocho-gu, Seoul on the 13th. On this day, the Seoul Central District Court’s Criminal Agreement Division 27 (Chief Judge Kim Ok-gon) sentenced former CEO Kim, who was indicted on charges of violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes (Presentation of Personnel), to five years in prison. He also ordered a fine of 6.3 billion won. 2024.02.13. [email protected]

The Seoul Central District Court yesterday sentenced ‘Baekhyeon-dong lobbyist’ Kim In-seop, former CEO of Korea Housing Technology, to five years in prison in the first trial and detained him in court. This is the first guilty verdict in the trial related to the Baekhyeon-dong suspicions involving Lee Jae-myeong, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea. Ahead of the April 10 general election, his ‘judicial risk’ is bound to increase further.

From September 2015 to March of last year, Mr. Kim was handed over to trial on charges of receiving 7.7 billion won from Jeong Paul, chairman of real estate development company Asia Developer, in exchange for arranging for the approval of a development project in Baekhyeon-dong, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, and also pocketing 500 million won worth of Hamba Restaurant business rights. This period largely overlaps with Representative Lee’s term as mayor of Seongnam. Mr. Kim is also a close associate who helped Representative Lee get elected mayor of Seongnam in 2014.

The prosecution believes that CEO Lee received lobbying from Mr. Kim during his time as mayor of Seongnam and excluded the Seongnam Urban Development Corporation from participating in the Baekhyeon-dong project. Jeong Jin-sang, former head of the political affairs coordination office at the Democratic Party’s representative office, who is one of Representative Lee’s closest associates, was also found to have received lobbying from Mr. Kim. On this day, the court ruled, “It is recognized that Mr. Kim’s role was an act of solicitation as there is no evidence to confirm his specific role other than the government service of requesting former Director Jeong.” As for the Baekhyeon-dong suspicion, the court also sided with the prosecution’s judgment that Representative Lee was a ‘power-oriented local corruption’ by exercising various licensing rights as mayor to repay Mr. Kim for his help during the mayoral election. Despite this, we are asked whether CEO Lee will continue to remain ignorant.

The Seongnam Urban Development Corporation was excluded from the Baekhyeon-dong project, and the loss suffered by Seongnam City is estimated at around 20 billion won. Accordingly, the prosecution indicted CEO Lee in October last year on charges of breach of trust under the Aggravated Punishment Act for Specific Economic Crimes, and the first trial is currently in progress. With Mr. Kim being found guilty in the first trial, the possibility that Representative Lee will also be found guilty has increased. The Baekhyun-dong suspicions are only a small part of the charges against Representative Lee. Suspicions of preferential treatment for the development of Wirye and Daejang-dong, suspicions of illegal sponsorship of professional soccer team Seongnam FC, suspicions of bribery for sending money to North Korea with corporate money, and suspicions of perjury for demanding false testimony from witnesses in one’s own trial are all awaiting judgment from the judiciary.

Earlier, right after the attack with a weapon, CEO Lee said, “I tried to kill him by law (…) but that didn’t work, so I tried to kill him with a knife, but he never dies.” His distorted perception of our criminal justice system is revealed. Representative Lee hopes that the ‘judicial risk’ surrounding him will consider the impact it will have on the Democratic Party’s path and the results of the April 10 general election.

[ⓒ 세계일보 & Segye.com, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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