Gyeonggi Governor Indicted for Abuse of Office

Beatrice Yuu, Dec. 12, 2018, 9:08 a.m.

Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung was indicted Tuesday on charges of violating election laws by spreading fake news during election campaigns, abusing his position to section his now-dead older brother in a mental hospital and other offences.

Lee also faces a series of other allegations including an affair with actress Kim Bu-sun a decade ago.

Lee denies all the allegations and claims to be a victim of a smear campaign himself. If he is slapped with a fine of over W1 million or a prison term, he could lose his governor's job (US$1=W1,131).

But prosecutors the same day dropped defamation charges against Lee's wife on charges of defaming her husband's political rivals. Kim Hye-gyeong was questioned last week on suspicion of using a Twitter handle to spread fake news about Moon Jae-in and other political rivals of her husband's in the race for the presidential candidacy since 2013.

"There was not enough evidence to conclude that the Twitter handle [used to spread false rumors] belonged to Kim," the Suwon District Prosecutors' Office said.

Police had been investigating Kim for the past seven months and concluded that she was indeed the person using the 08_hkkim Twitter handle. But there are fears that prosecutors shied away from the political fallout of investigating Kim, who has alleged that Moon's son benefited from nepotism in landing a job.

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