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Former Environment Minister Alleged to Have Received Bribes

Former Environment Minister Alleged to Have Received Bribes

Posted June. 14, 2007 07:26,   


The special investigation team at the Seoul Central District prosecutors’ office said that the former environment minister, Lee Jae-yong, 53, is under suspicion of receiving 10 million won from an affiliate of the Korean Dental Association right before 5.31 local elections of last year.

The voluntary association under the Dental Association, which was formed to lobby for those in the political arena, changed its name to the Institute for Dental Care Policies right after the police launched the investigation. The prosecution believes that the former minister may have received political funds from the organization through several accounts used by the association members and has now requested report materials from both the Election Management Council and the former minister in order to find out whether the money was part of the normal political fund.

Prior to this development, the prosecution summoned the minister to question him over the suspicion of violation of the political fund laws. He argued in the investigation, “The money was all entirely legitimate political funding and I will submit related materials to the prosecution.” The government agency is now investigating the allegation that other politicians who ran for the election, in addition to the minister in question, also received illegal political funding ranging from several million to tens of millions of won from the same organization. Meanwhile, the agency recently requested the appearance of Kim Chun-jin, a lawmaker of Uri party, who is suspected of receiving 10 million won from the Dental Association.