The National Assembly on Wednesday vetoed the arrest of a ruling party legislator accused of graft despite earlier pledges to strip lawmakers of their immunity from detention.
Rep. Song Kwang-ho of the ruling Saenuri Party is suspected of taking 55 million won ($54,000) in bribes from local railway parts supplier AVT in exchange for business favors.
His arrest was subject to parliamentary consent as lawmakers in South Korea are immune from detention while the National Assembly is in session.
|Rep. Song Kwang-ho of the ruling Saenuri Party makes his last petition to the lawmakers before the voting at the National Assembly on Wednesday. (Yonhap)|
Song's arrest motion, which was put to a secret vote during a plenary session Wednesday, was rejected 118-73, with eight abstentions and 24 votes deemed invalid.
The parliament's approval is necessary for the court to question Song and decide whether to issue a warrant requested by the prosecution to put him under arrest.
In a separate vote, the Assembly approved the appointment of Kwon Soon-il as a justice of the Supreme Court. (Yonhap)