South Korean Presidential Candidate Linked to String of Suicides

South Korea’s ruling party candidate for the presidency, Lee Jae-myung, was linked to a string of suicides related to a multi-million-dollar real estate scandal where Lee was suspected of profiting immensely. 

The three men who may have had access to damning information about Lee’s past as mayor of Seongnam died within two months. 

The two men, Kim Moon-gi and Yu Han-ki, both worked for the Seongnam Development Corporation, committed suicide in December just before their interrogation for their roles in bribes related to the massive real estate project.

Last month, police reported that a third man, Lee Byung-chul, died of a heart attack after revealing that a local company had forked over enormous sums of money to cover Lee’s legal fees in an entirely different case.

According to reports, Lee Byung-chul severely embarrassed Lee Jae-myung’s team by releasing transcripts of phone conversations with a lawyer talking about the huge fees paid for defending Lee Jae-myung.

Later, Lee Byung-chul vowed on social media that he would never commit suicide, however, he was reported missing for three days before police discovered his body in a motel room. 

Reports said Lee Byung-chul had died of a heart attack, but there was no autopsy and he’s rumored to have been poisoned.

Meanwhile, family members of the three executives and other insiders have gone quiet.

“People are afraid to talk,” lawyer Jang Young-ha who has followed Lee for years, said.

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