Kim Tae Eun, who is leading the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission’s investigation of real estate transactions by lawmakers in the main opposition People’s Power Party and their families, speaks during an investigation briefing at a government compound in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) said the investigation will examine real estate transactions involving a total of 427 people – 101 PPP MPs and their families – over the past seven years.
The ACRC conducted a similar investigation against all members of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) and announced last month that 12 PD members were suspected of property speculation. Of these, the party expelled two deputies by proportional representation and recommended that the remaining 10 leave the party voluntarily.
A widespread investigation into lawmakers follows a massive land speculation scandal in March involving employees of state-owned Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH).
There are 103 deputies in the PPP. Rep. Tae Yong Ho, who fled North Korea, is not subject to such an investigation by law. Rep. Hong Jun Pyo, who returned to the party on Thursday, came to be seen as an independent MP last week.
The PPP initially asked the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) to investigate, questioning the neutrality of the ACRC, which is chaired by a former CiO MP.
After BAI rejected it, PPP filed a request with ACRC on June 11. The investigation was postponed because some family members of PPP deputies did not provide documents on consent to the collection of personal information. The documents were submitted last Thursday.
The investigation will last one month and may be extended if necessary. The ACRC said it will inform the government’s special investigation team and the PPP of those suspected of violating the laws in connection with real estate transactions, as it did with DP lawmakers.
“We will conduct our investigation fairly and strictly in accordance with laws and principles and with uniform standards for both the ruling and opposition parties so that there is no suspicion,” said Kim Tae Eun, who leads the investigation. (Yonhap)