Arrest of ex-police leader is approved

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Arrest of ex-police leader is approved

A local court issued a warrant to arrest former National Police Agency Commissioner Kang Hee-rak on charges of taking millions of won in bribes from a businessman in return for favors.

The warrant was issued late Wednesday night after being rejected earlier by a different judge.

Judge Lee Geon-bae, who approved Kang’s arrest warrant, said, “there are concerns of destruction of evidence and of fleeing.”

Lee reversed the previous ruling by Judge Choi Seok-mun, who had rejected the warrant, saying the prosecution did not “fully explain why the suspect needs to be detained.”

Prosecutors on Thursday hailed what they called “the court’s right decision.”

Prosecutors have been investigating Kang for allegedly taking 180 million won ($161,160) from businessman Yu Sang-bong in return for helping him win the rights to run makeshift cafeterias at construction sites across the country in 2009.

According to prosecutors, Yu also admitted to giving Kang money to promote police officers who helped him win cafeteria contracts at construction sites.

Yu’s case comes as a blow for the Lee administration, which has been campaigning to adopt initiatives for “a fair society,” as a prosecutors’ investigation have shown that former and current senior police officials were involved in the scandal.

Meanwhile, prosecutors yesterday summoned and questioned Kangwon Land CEO Choi Young on charges of pocketing 60 million won from Yu in return for helping him win the right to run cafeterias at SH Corporation construction sites in 2008. Choi was also the CEO of SH Corporation, the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s public housing and development company, in 2008.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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