May 17, 2019 10:55
The Suwon District Court on Thursday cleared Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung of abuse of power for ordering his now-dead older brother to be sectioned in a mental hospital, spreading fake news during election campaigns and other offences.
The court accepted that Lee repeatedly prodded public health officials to have his brother sectioned but found no abuse of authority although the process" was pursued rather aggressively." It also ruled that there was no evidence that Lee knew the information he was disseminating was false.
The trial drew nationwide attention since it was widely viewed as a verdict on Lee's political career. Lee was hotly tipped as a future presidential contender before a series of scandals engulfed him to taint his squeaky-clean image.
The case will now go to appeal.
Prosecutors earlier dropped charges against Lee's wife for opinion-rigging in the runup to the last presidential primary of the Minjoo Party, but the cloud of an extramarital affair with actress Kim Bu-sun a decade ago still hangs over his head.
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