Prosecutors raid former finance head

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Prosecutors raid former finance head

Prosecutors raided the office of former Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan on Tuesday over suspicions that he took bribes from the state spy agency in the early years of the former Lee Myung-bak government.

Investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office were sent to search the premises and confiscate evidence, the office said.

Bahk, currently a professor at Sungkyunkwan University, is suspected of accepting kickbacks from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) around 2008, when he served as a senior presidential secretary for political affairs. He worked at the Blue House from 2008-2010 and headed the finance ministry from 2011-2013. Prosecutors also raided the office of a then-Blue House official in connection with the allegation, the Seoul office added.

The raid comes amid a widening prosecution investigation into the spy agency’s alleged bribe offers to top government officials in the past two administrations led by Lee and ousted leader Park Geun-hye.

The prosecution has signaled it could soon bring former President Lee in for questioning as a suspect. On Monday, it said Lee has been cited as a principal offender in the indictment of his former aide accused of involvement in the NIS bribery scandal.

Ousted President Park, who is already standing trial over a string of corruption charges, has also been additionally charged on bribery linked to the NIS case.

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