World

S. Korea opposition leader hospitalised after hunger strike

Sep 19, 2023

Seoul [South Korea], September 19:South Korea's main opposition leader was hospitalised on Monday, days into a hunger strike in protest against government policies, while prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for him over corruption allegations.
Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, began the protest on Aug. 31, citing the government's economic mismanagement, threats to media freedom and the failure to oppose the Fukushima wastewater release, among other reasons.
The former presidential candidate was transferred to a hospital from the National Assembly in Seoul Monday morning after suffering from dehydration and dizziness, his party said.
Kim Gi-hyeon, the head of the ruling People Power Party, has urged Lee to stop fasting, saying he was ready to talk with the opposition leader on policy issues.
Hours after Lee was transferred to a hospital, prosecutors said they had requested an arrest warrant for him as part of an investigation into a development project and bribery allegations.
Lee is accused of being in breach of his duty over losses of 20 billion won ($15 million) run up by Seongnam Development Corporation during his time as mayor of Seongnam city, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also accused Lee of bribery in connection with a company suspected of $8 million in illegal money transfers to North Korea.
Lee has denied any wrongdoing, calling the allegations "fiction" and a "political conspiracy."
A Seoul court needs the 300-member parliament, where the Democrats hold a majority, to waive Lee's immunity from arrest to review the prosecution's request.
Parliament rejected their previous request for an arrest warrant in February.
Lee lost to President Yoon Suk Yeol, a former prosecutor-general, in the 2022 presidential election by a margin of 0.7%.
Source: Fijian Broadcasting Corporation

More news

Nine more bodies found off southern Italy after migrant boat wreck

Rome [Italy], June 21: Nine more bodies have been found off the coast of Italy after a migrant boat carrying several dozen people capsized in the Mediterranean. The Italian coastguard pulled them out of the water about 100 kilometres from the mainland, authorities said on Thursday. This brings the number of confirmed fatalities to 17. It is feared that more than 40 bodies are still in the sea. The ship had set off from Turkey but capsized off the coast of the southern Italian region of Calabria on Monday night. Only 11 people were rescued. The survivors were picked up by a merchant ship when the boat was already half sunk. They were brought to the harbour of the Calabrian town of Roccella Ionica. The Interior Ministry in Rome has counted more than 23,000 people who reached Italy on boats this year. In the same period last year, the figure was almost 56,000. (dpa)

Jun 21, 2024