July 29, 2020 13:13
The Suwon District Prosecutors' Office on Tuesday sought an arrest warrant for the frail leader of the dubious Shincheonji sect, Lee Man-hee, for obstructing government efforts to fight the coronavirus epidemic.
Lee (89) is charged with conspiring with senior church officials to conceal or submit false reports on the identities of members and worship centers in February, when the sect became an infection hotbed in Daegu.
He is also charged with embezzling W5.6 billion for the construction of his ostentatious private residence in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province, including W5 billion from church funds (US$1=W1,200).
Prosecutors questioned Lee on July 17 and 23 but sent him home after just four hours the first time because he complained about chronic illness. The second interrogation took 10 hours.
A prosecutor said, "We decided to seek an arrest warrant because we concluded that neither his age nor health would pose an obstacle."
Lee is worshipped by followers as the Second Coming and claims to get his messages directly from God but has exhibited signs of senility during recent public appearances.
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