The Korea Herald


Yoon approves request for parliamentary consent to opposition leader's arrest

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 21, 2023 - 09:34

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President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol has signed off on a request for parliamentary consent to opposition leader Lee Jae-myung's arrest, his office said Tuesday.

The president's endorsement is a procedural step that comes before the justice ministry submits the request for consent to the National Assembly. By law, prosecutors need parliamentary consent to arrest a lawmaker while the assembly is in session.

Lee, the chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party, faces charges of corruption and bribery in connection with development projects and donations to a municipal football club dating back to his time as mayor of Seongnam, south of Seoul, from 2010-2018.

Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for him Thursday, marking the first time in South Korea that the prosecution has sought an arrest warrant for the head of the country's largest opposition party.

"The motion for consent of Chairman Lee Jae-myung's arrest was received yesterday and the president's approval was given. It is set to be sent to the National Assembly," the presidential office said.

Once it is sent to the National Assembly, the speaker is supposed to report it during the first plenary meeting to be held hereafter and put it to a vote within the following 72 hours but after the elapse of 24 hours.

The motion is scheduled to be reported to a plenary parliamentary meeting Friday and put to a vote next Monday.

The National Assembly, where the DP has a majority, is expected to refuse to consent to Lee's arrest. (Yonhap)