SLS chief arrested on bribery charge

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SLS chief arrested on bribery charge

A Seoul court Wednesday night issued a warrant to arrest a businessman in relation to an investigation into a high-profile corruption scandal involving a former key presidential aide.

Lee Kuk-chul, chairman of SLS Group, was accused of bribery, embezzlement and breach of trust.

The investigation began after Lee disclosed to media in September his alleged connections to several influential politicians and former and current high-ranking government officials, including the ex-presidential aide Shin Jae-min.

Lee suggested he gave Shin, a former journalist who worked as a vice culture minister, nearly 1 billion won ($885,000) in cash and gift certificates in return for business favors.

The court decision came after prosecutors’ botched attempt in October to secure a warrant to detain Lee on bribery charges.

In addition to bribery charges, prosecutors added embezzlement and breach of trust, accusing the chairman of unlawfully diverting some 12 billion won worth of assets from one affiliate to another in an attempt to avoid debt repayment.

Prosecutors had summoned the former vice minister several times in connection with the bribery scandal, along with the chairman, as they prepared to file another arrest warrant request for Shin following a failed attempt last month.

The prosecutors are believed to have secured evidence partly backing up Lee’s revelation that Shin took the massive bribes.

Prosecutors arrested Kim Du-woo, a former senior secretary to the president for public relations, in late September for a separate bribery case involving a suspended savings bank.

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