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Three lawmakers lose seats as Supreme Court confirms prison terms

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Published : 2014-01-16 15:17
Updated : 2014-01-16 15:17

The nation's top court on Thursday confirmed prison terms and penalties for three sitting lawmakers for illegal electioneering ahead of the 2012 general elections, stripping them of their parliamentary seats.

Lee Jae-young of the ruling Saenuri Party was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years, for embezzling money from a company he runs and using it to give money to party officials, in violation of the Public Official Election Act.

In a separate ruling, the Supreme Court sentenced Hyun Young-hee, an independent lawmaker who was formerly affiliated with the Saenuri Party, to one year and six months in prison, suspended for two years.

Hyun was found guilty of giving 50 million won ($41,700) to a party official, before being expelled, in return for securing her a spot on the proportional representation ticket ahead of the April 11 vote.

The court, in another ruling, confirmed a fine of 3 million won handed down to Shin Jang-yong of the main opposition Democratic Party for providing kickbacks to volunteers on his campaign team.

Under the act, a confirmed prison term or a fine of more than 1 million won handed down to a lawmaker results in the loss of his or her parliamentary seat.

Two other sitting lawmakers, however, maintained their seats as the Supreme Court upheld acquittals in two separate rulings.

Yoon Young-seok, a sitting legislator of the Saenuri Party, was acquitted of charges that he promised a party official money in exchange for helping him win the party's nomination on the proportional representation ticket.

The court confirmed a not-guilty verdict for Park Duk-hyum of the Saenuri Party, who was charged with bribing his opponent's former driver. (Yonhap News)

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