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Arrest warrants sought for 2 former aides of ex-President Lee over alleged bribery

2018/01/14 21:58

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SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors filed for arrest warrants for two former senior aides of former President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday for allegations that they took bribes from the state intelligence agency.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office requested the arrest warrants for Kim Paik-joon, Lee's senior secretary for administrative affairs between 2008 and 2012, and Kim Jin-mo, an ex-official at Cheong Wa Dae's civil affairs office, according to the prosecutors' office.

The senior secretary Kim is suspected of taking some 400 million won (US$375,586) in bribe from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) while he was serving Lee.

On Saturday, he underwent nearly a half-a-day interrogation where he denied the bribery allegations and the former president's possible involvement in the alleged bribe-taking, according to officials.

Kim Jin-mo is suspected of taking 50 million won from the NIS, which the prosecution believes he used to cover up a public official's testimony that the Prime Minister's office under Lee illegally shadowed and conducted background check on dissident civilians.

It is the first time prosecutors have filed for arrest warrants over the bribery case from the Lee administration.

A Seoul court is expected to hold hearings on them early this week before deciding whether to issue the warrants.