Ex-DP leader Song to voluntarily appear before prosecutors Tuesday: lawyer

May 1, 2023

Song Young-gil, a former leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), plans to voluntarily appear before prosecutors this week for questioning about a growing political funding scandal, his lawyer said Monday.

“Song will voluntarily appear at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office at 10 a.m. Tuesday,” lawyer Sun Jong-moon said in a message to the media.

The investigation centers on allegations that Song’s campaign officials distributed cash envelopes to party members prior to the party’s national convention in May 2021, during which Song was elected chairman.

Questioning of Song, however, is unlikely to occur, as the prosecution said there have been no prior consultations and it cannot investigate him at this point.

“An announcement by a person under investigation of a unilateral decision to ‘appear before prosecutors tomorrow’ is not in line with the criminal procedure that should be applied equally to the general public,” a prosecution official said.

“Questioning will not take place because of the investigation team’s schedule,” the official said, adding Song can send a written statement, if he wishes, and the investigation team will ask for his appearance when necessary.

A composite photo of former opposition leader Song Young-gil and the prosecution (Yonhap)
A composite photo of former opposition leader Song Young-gil and the prosecution (Yonhap)

Prosecutors raided Song’s home Saturday as part of the investigation, five days after he returned from Paris, where he was a visiting professor at the ESCP Business School. The prosecution imposed a travel ban on Song last Tuesday.

Song already expressed his intent to voluntarily appear before prosecutors upon arriving at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, last Monday, but the prosecution said a summons will be sent to him later after it completes its preparations.

The prosecution suspects Song may have directed or at least been aware of the suspected bribery, though he denied the allegations.