Prosecutors have indicted two lawmakers from South Korea’s main opposition Liberty Korea Party in connection with a hiring scandal at Kangwon Land Inc, the operator of Kangwon Land (pictured), the country’s only casino resort allowed to serve locals.
Representatives Kweon Seong-dong and Yeom Dong-yeol were charged on Monday with abuse of power and business interference, according to a report on the English-language website of public broadcaster KBS World Radio. The report said they were not detained.
They are accused of requesting illegal favours in the selection of trainees at the casino operator, which has its sole venue in an upland area 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the capital Seoul. It is also alleged that on dates between November 2012 and April 2013, the lawmakers exerted pressure on Kangwon Land to hire respectively 39 and 11 people that were personal acquaintances.
According to KBS, the prosecution had initially sought to have the two sitting lawmakers arrested but the country’s parliament – legally being required to give consent before such a move – refused to do so in the case of Mr Yeom. In the matter of Mr Kweon, a court dismissed a request for an arrest warrant.
According to previous media reports from the country, prosecutors had announced on March 8 that they were raiding the offices of Messrs Yeom and Kweon.
In mid-March South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, who was previously parliamentary leader of the Democratic Party, had ordered the dismissal of 226 Kangwon Land employees judged – following a probe – to have got their jobs via unfair means, reported at the time Yonhap news agency, citing the presidential office.
It emerged in media reports last year that the wrongdoing allegedly began six years earlier.
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