2 minor party lawmakers indicted over corruption scandal

AJ Lee, Aug. 10, 2016, 10:01 a.m.

Prosecutors on Wednesday indicted two lawmakers of a minor opposition party over a high-profile corruption scandal that led to the resignation of its leaders. The Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office said Reps. Park Sun-sook and Kim Su-min of the People's Party have been charged with receiving some hundreds of millions of won in illicit political funds from two local firms in the runup to the April parliamentary elections.

Prosecutors said the suspects allegedly asked the companies to pay some 216 million won (US$197,000) worth of rebates.

They are also accused of illegally obtaining 106 million won from the National Election Committee (NEC) by forging documents and exaggerating election spendings.

A total of six people, including the two lawmakers, were indicted on Wednesday over their alleged involvement in the irregularities. The chiefs of the two ad companies were also included on the indictment list.

The scandal has dealt a serious blow to the party that has pledged to pursue a "new type of politics" and become an alternative to the establishment parties that critics say have been mired in factionalism and partisan bickering.

In late June, the then-leaders of the party, Reps. Ahn Cheol-soo and Chun Jung-bae, stepped down, saying they would take "political" responsibility for the scandal.

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