Prosecution to question MB’s brother

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Prosecution to question MB’s brother

The prosecution said Friday that the older brother of former President Lee Myung-bak will be questioned today over suspicions he received bribes over a number of years in a deal linked to Posco, the country’s largest steelmaker.

Lee Sang-deuk, 79, a six-term lawmaker, is slated to appear at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office today, just two years after he left prison in September 2013. The older Lee served 14 months in jail for taking hundreds of millions of won in a separate bribery case.

Authorities did not reveal how much money they presume he stashed away in the latest case, which reportedly dates back to 2009, when Lee Myung-bak was in the Blue House.

The 79-year-old is suspected to have pressured a senior official at Posco to offer lucrative business deals to one of its subcontractors, TM Tech, whose major shareholder was his close aide, who authorities only identified by the surname Park.

Prosecutors believe the elder Lee might have received money from Park, who gained some 2 billion won ($1.7 million) in dividends from TM Tech, and used it in part to fund his office in Pohang, a main seaport in the North Gyeongsang region. He has flatly denied the accusations.

The latest case is one in a barrage of corruption scandals involving Posco, as the Pohang-based steelmaker struggles to recover from recent negative publicity resulting from an ongoing investigation over alleged business malpractices.

Some 20 subcontractors and subsidiaries have been raided since March 13, the day after former Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo declared a “war” against corruption. Authorities believe the steelmaker was granted favors during the previous Lee administration.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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