Allegations of misdeeds by Constitutional Court presidential nominee Lee Dong-heub continued to surface Tuesday as the political parties prepare for his confirmation hearing next week.
The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 21-22, ahead of the extraordinary session of the National Assembly on Jan. 24.
The main opposition Democratic United Party, which has opposed the nomination citing controversial rulings Lee has handed down in the past, has brought forth a number of allegations including irregularities in his real estate transactions and possible tax evasion by Lee’s eldest son.
The DUP’s Rep. Park Hong-keun has accused Lee of falsely transferring his residence registration to Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, in June 1995 without actually moving out of his then-home in Seoul.
According to Park, Lee transferred the registration but continued to live in Seoul until June 1997, which was illegal under the strict regulations imposed on the area to prevent real estate speculation.
Park has also alleged that Lee may have transferred capital assets to his eldest son without paying the gift tax. Park said 41 million won ($39,000) was reported under the name of Lee’s eldest son, despite him having no income, in Lee’s civil servant assets report filed in March last year.
The large increase in the assets held by Lee and his wife between 2007 and 2012 has also come into question.
In 2007, Lee reported having about 130 million won in his name and his wife about 42 million won. Last year, however, Lee’s personal assets grew to nearly 600 million won while that of his wife had more than quadrupled to 178 million won.
The DUP has also claimed that Lee’s nomination was a reward for taking favorable stances toward President Lee Myung-bak in the past, such as opposing a special counsel investigation into the investment company BBK.
In addition, his position that the Korean government did not have a responsibility to support the suits filed by comfort women against the Japanese government has also raised controversy.
Comfort women are women from Korea and other nations occupied by imperial Japan during the first half of the 20th century who were forced to work as sex slaves for soldiers.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com