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Prosecution closing in on senior presidential aide in bribery probe

2017/11/15 09:13

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SEOUL, Nov 15 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant Wednesday for a senior official of the Korea e-Sports Association in an expanding investigation into bribery suspicions involving former aides to senior presidential secretary for political affairs Jun Byung-hun.

The association's secretary general, identified only by his surname Cho, is suspected of helping aides to Jun launder some 110 million won out of a total of 300 million won that Lotte Homeshopping donated to the association in 2015 when Jun was its honorary chairman.

Cho, who has been under emergency detention since Monday, is also accused of providing one of Jun's aides, identified as Yoon, with a corporate credit card when he had no position with the association. Yoon reportedly spent a large amount of money using the card.

The investigation is expected to expand to include Jun as prosecutors are looking into why the TV home shopping channel, which has little to do with computer games, made the large donation to the association amid speculation it was part of an effort to seek Jun's influence in its efforts to renew its broadcasting license.

Jun belonged to the parliamentary committee on broadcasting and communications at the time. His aide, Yoon, is suspected of forcing Lotte to make the donation in exchange for a promise not to take issue with Lotte's license renewal.

Prosecutors are considering calling in Jun for questioning late this week or early next week.

Jun has categorically rejected suspicion of his involvement.

"I feel sorry and regrettable about the aberrations of my two former aides," he told reporters Tuesday. "This has nothing to do with me and everything will come to light if the prosecution conducts a fair investigation."

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