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Ex-PM Han Myeong-sook Arrested on Bribery Charge

Posted December. 19, 2009 12:48,   


Former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook was arrested yesterday on the charge of accepting 50,000 U.S. dollars in bribes from the ex-president of Korea Express, Kwak Yeong-uk.

Han is the first former prime minister to be summoned by prosecutors for questioning.

An investigation team including one prosecutor went to the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation in Seoul’s Mapo district around 12:44 p.m. to arrest Han. When the prosecutor presented an arrest warrant, Han and her attorney checked it and complied.

Shortly before her arrest, Han told reporters, “Even if I’m asked tens of millions of times, my answer will be the same,” adding, “I swear on my life that I’m innocent.”

“To respect the court’s decision, I will comply with the arrest warrant and tell the truth in court.”

According to the arrest warrant, Han received two envelopes filled with money on Dec. 20, 2006, while in office, with one containing 20,000 dollars and the other 30,000 dollars. The money was allegedly from Kwak in return Han helping him get appointed head of the Korea Coal Corp.

Han arrived at the Seoul Central Prosecutors` Office around 1:30 p.m. and was grilled by senior prosecutor Kwon Oh-seong.

She was asked whether she received the money and for what, but exercised her right to keep silent with her attorney at her side.

Prosecutors will likely indict Han without detention and conclude their investigation next week.

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