Rep. Lee Jae-myung, chairman of the Democratic Party of Korea, answers reporters' questions at the Kimdaejung Convention Center in Gwangju, Friday. (Yonhap)
Rep. Lee Jae-myung, the new leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea, criticized the prosecution as “inappropriate” for summoning him regarding the alleged violation of the election law on Friday.
Lee met with reporters after the party leadership meeting held in Gwangju on Friday, where he expressed suspicions that the ongoing investigation into him is politically motivated, and that the current administration is behind the developments.
"The power entrusted by the people should be only used for establishing a better life for the people and overcome the crisis. It is inappropriate to pick on irrelevant things," he said.
"The police and prosecution had been mobilized for a long time to get me, and now it looks like they are resorting to nitpicking over trivial things," he said.
When asked if he would respond to the prosecution’s summon, Lee did not give a specific answer.
Earlier, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office notified Lee to appear for questioning on Sept. 6, regarding several alleged false claims he had made.
The claims in question were ones Lee made at last year's parliamentary audit and media interviews that the Park Geun-hye government's Land Ministry had pressured Seongnam City officials. Another alleged false claim by Lee was made during a media interview in December, in which he claimed that he did not personally know Kim Moon-ki, the first director of the Seongnam Urban Development Corporation, who committed suicide during the investigation last December.
Democratic Party lawmakers are criticizing the prosecution for its unilateral, sudden summon notification, claiming it has clear political motivations. However, the prosecution claimed that it had already delivered written questions to Lee last month, but had no choice but to summon him because there was no answer.