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Political Scandal Implicates Ruling Party Member

Posted March. 19, 2009 09:51,   


A probe into a political fund scandal implicating a ruling party member is gaining momentum, as the ex-mayor of Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, and a former director of the Korea Maritime Institute were both arrested yesterday.

Prosecutors reportedly summoned several politicians for questioning, with a number of political and government figures to face grilling.

Taekwang Industrial CEO Park Yeon-cha, a strong supporter of former President Roh Moo-hyun, is alleged to have bribed politicians and officials in return for favors.

Prosecutors received an arrest warrant for former Gimhae Mayor Song Eun-bok Tuesday. He was taken into custody at his Busan home early yesterday, being charged with violating political fund law.

Song is alleged to have received 200 million won (140,696 U.S. dollars) from Park in April last year when Song was running for a parliamentary seat for the ruling Grand National Party.

After serving three terms as Gimhae mayor, Song resigned to run for South Gyeongsang governor in 2006.

Prosecutors want to know if he took the money from Park in return for favors and if Song got money from other people.

Another arrest warrant was filed for Lee Jung-wook, former director of the state-funded Korea Maritime Institute. He was arrested Tuesday also on the charge of violating political fund law.

Lee is suspected of taking 300 million won (211,045 U.S. dollars) from Park in April 2005, when Lee ran for a parliamentary seat under the then ruling Uri Party.

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