Back To Top
National

[Newsmaker] 12 ruling party lawmakers implicated in real estate corruption

This photo shows part of land lots in Siheung, just south of Seoul, purchased by officials of the Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH), a state-run housing developer, in alleged speculation by using internal information prior to the announcement of a government plan to build a new town there. (Yonhap)
This photo shows part of land lots in Siheung, just south of Seoul, purchased by officials of the Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH), a state-run housing developer, in alleged speculation by using internal information prior to the announcement of a government plan to build a new town there. (Yonhap)
The ruling Democratic Party convened an emergency meeting of its leadership Tuesday to discuss how to respond to a government report indicating that 12 of its lawmakers were implicated in illegal real estate transactions.

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission said Monday that 12 Democratic Party lawmakers or family members of Democratic Party lawmakers were suspected of violating the law on real estate trade.

The anti-corruption watchdog looked into the real estate transactions of 174 Democratic Party lawmakers and their spouses, parents and children over the past seven years at the Democratic Party’s request in March.

The Democratic Party has the names of the 12 lawmakers, but has not disclosed them.

Of the 16 questionable transactions, six involved lawmakers and the others involved family members, the watchdog said.

Three cases had to do with insider information on property development projects.

Two involved a new urban development project in an area where employees of the state-run Land & Housing Corp. allegedly snapped up property after learning that the land would be developed.

After the Land & Housing Corp. scandal emerged, followed by allegations that ruling party lawmakers also had taken part in property speculation, the Democratic Party asked the anti-corruption watchdog to look into all of its legislators.

Kim Tae-nyeon, the Democratic Party’s floor leader at the time, said March 30 that the party would disclose the results and make its lawmakers take legal and political responsibility for their actions.

Democratic Party leader Song Young-gil, who took office last month, also said anyone involved in property speculation would be immediately thrown out of the party and barred from returning until they were cleared.

The Democratic Party said Monday after receiving the names of the 12 lawmakers that it would take a close look and then decide what to do.

The main opposition People Power Party said Tuesday that it would have all 102 of its lawmakers’ real estate transactions reviewed by the Board of Audit and Inspection, which is independent from those in power.

Noting that the anti-corruption watchdog is headed by a former Democratic Party legislator, the People Power Party urged the Democratic Party to subject itself to a BAI inquiry.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
MOST POPULAR