▲ Lee Hwa-yeong, former vice governor of Gyeonggi-do

During the trial of Lee Hwa-young, former Vice Governor of Gyeonggi-do, who was arrested and indicted on charges of receiving hundreds of millions of won in bribes from the Ssangbang-wool group, both the prosecution and the accused fought a tense battle over the suspicion of remittances to North Korea by the Ssang-bang-wool group.

Today (3rd), the prosecutor's investigation team held a public trial of former Vice-Governor Lee's alleged violation of the Act on Bribery and Political Funds under the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes. Above) I presented two photos side by side at the time of signing the inter-Korean cooperation project agreement.

In the photo on the left, former deputy governor Lee Seong-tae, former chairman of Ssangbang-ul, and North Korea's Song Myeong-chul, deputy chief of the Chosun Asia-Pacific Commission, were sitting face to face with their tables in front of each other.

The picture on the right shows a Ssangbangul executive explaining to a North Korean official how to finance a cooperative project by writing it on a whiteboard.

In this photo, former vice-governor Lee and former chairman Kim were not present.

At the trial, the prosecution explained, "Ssangbangwool, Gyeonggi Province, and North Korean officials gathered together to discuss the formation of a consortium for Ssangbangwool and how to finance inter-Korean cooperation projects."

Regarding the reason for the absence of former deputy governor Lee and Chairman Kim in the photo on the right, he added, "I was absent because there was already enough discussion in advance and there was no need to hear additional explanations."

Prosecutors then said, "Ssangbangwool executives helped Ssangbangwool and decided to form a consortium to carry out projects in North Korea, so Ssangbangwool took priority in the business. We can attract a lot of investment."

Prosecutors also presented a report on a business trip to China by former Vice-Governor Lee at the time prepared by Gyeonggi-do.

The document reads, 'Discussions on plans for joint advancement between domestic companies in Gyeonggi Province'.

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▲ Former Chairman Kim Seong-tae

In response, the lawyer conducted the newspaper with the intention that 'Gyeonggi-do and Ssangbang-ul's North Korea projects were carried out separately'.

In particular, the former vice-governor's attorney said that in December 2018, Kim Seong-hye, head of the North Korean United Front Department's United Front Strategy Office and Chosun Asia-Pacific Committee, said, "Lee Hwa-young decided to support the smart farm project, but he did not keep his promise." They also actively refuted what they are known to have demanded.

The lawyer's argument is that when Kim Seong-hye got angry, it is not circumstantial and untrue that Ssangbang-ul sent 5 million dollars on behalf of Gyeonggi-do.

Vice Chairman Bang Yong-cheol's lawyer also said, "Does it make sense that the province discussed the smart farm support project with North Korea in October 2018, and continued to promote the project and budget after that, but it makes sense that Kim Seong-hye got angry after two months of consultation?" He expressed the same position as the other side.

(Photo = Yonhap News)