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Investigators raid DUP office over vote buying

Prosecutors raided the campaign office of a preliminary candidate of the Democratic United Party in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday, in connection with alleged vote-buying in a party leadership race.

The accused, Kim Kyung-hyup, is alleged to have given envelopes containing cash to some of the central committee members of the party on Dec. 26 during a party leadership contest in Seoul.

The prosecution summoned Kim for questioning.

The investigators have secured CCTV footage showing a person suspected of being Kim holding envelopes on the day of the vote.

Kim is a well-known Bucheon-based labor activist who served as a secretary for social affairs during the Roh Moo-hyun administration. He is registered as a preliminary DUP candidate representing a Bucheon constituency for the April 11 general elections.

Prosecutors questioned Kim about whether the envelopes he held contained money and which candidate for the DUP Supreme Council he worked for at that time, officials said.

He has denied the allegations that he was handing out invitations to a book publication event he held Jan. 4.

Prosecutors are also said to be concentrating on identifying another individual who was caught on security cameras appearing to hand out envelopes containing money.

The prosecution requested that the DUP submit the list of central committee members, who were voters in the party leadership election.

Meanwhile, investigators looking into the ruling party vote-buying scheme alleged to have been operated by Rep. Park Hee-tae, then chairman candidate of the Grand National Party, or his aides, again summoned Park’s secretary.

The secretary, identified by her surname Hahm, was in charge of the accounts of Park’s campaign in the run up to the GNP’s leadership election in 2008.

In addition, Park’s former aide Koh Myung-jin, chief secretary for political affairs Lee Bong-kun and chairman of Ramid Group Moon Byung-wook were questioned on Monday. Koh is thought to have delivered money to GNP’s Rep. Koh Seung-duk before the election, while Moon is suspected of giving 100 million won to an official working for Park during his campaign for the GNP chairmanship.

Park was elected as GNP chairman in 2008.

By Choi He-suk  (