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Top prosecutor orders speedy investigation into first lady's alleged acceptance of luxury handbag

By Yonhap

Published : May 3, 2024 - 22:04

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Prosecutor General Lee One-seok speaks at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul on March 28. (Yonhap) Prosecutor General Lee One-seok speaks at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul on March 28. (Yonhap)

South Korea's top prosecutor has instructed his staff to create a team dedicated to investigating allegations that first lady Kim Keon Hee accepted a luxury handbag in 2022, legal sources said Friday.

Prosecutor General Lee One-seok made the call during a regular meeting with Song Kyung-ho, chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, on Thursday, according to the sources.

First lady Kim has come under fire after a local media outlet released video footage last November that showed her receiving a Christian Dior bag from a Korean American pastor in September 2022. The pastor had secretly filmed her with a hidden camera.

Last December, the media outlet filed a complaint against Kim and President Yoon Suk Yeol to the prosecution, for allegedly accepting a bribe, although there has been little visible progress in the investigation.

The instruction came after the ruling People Power Party suffered a crushing defeat in the parliamentary elections last month, with the main opposition Democratic Party vowing to propose a special probe into multiple allegations surrounding the first lady, once the new session of the National Assembly begins later this month.

Kim has also been accused of involvement in manipulating the stock prices of Deutsch Motors Inc., a BMW car dealer in South Korea, between 2009 and 2012.

In February, President Yoon Suk Yeol said his wife failed to "coldheartedly reject" the gift giver but stopped short of offering an apology. (Yonhap)