Prosecutors questioned former Democratic Party (DP) chief Song Young-gil for about 13 hours in connection to a cash-for-votes scandal at the party's 2021 convention.
Emerging from Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office at around 10 p.m. Friday, Song told reporters he asked prosecutors to record the entire session, adding that he signed the minutes of his questioning.
Asked by a reporter if he was unaware that cash was passed out at the convention, the former DP chief said he has stuck to the same story for eight months, essentially denying the charges against him.
Though Song had asked prosecutors to call him in for questioning quickly, he reportedly exercised his right to silence for much of the session. Asked about this, he criticized the decision to entrust his case to the special crimes department rather than the departments handling high-level corruption or criminal offenses.
Prosecutors will consider calling Song in for question or filing a detention warrant against him. They will also push to subpoena sitting lawmakers suspected of taking money during the convention.
Song is accused of involvement in the distribution of envelopes containing 94 million won, or some 71-thousand U.S. dollars, to lawmakers and DP officials to support his campaign to become party leader from March to May 2021, just ahead of the party's convention.