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Opposition floor leader to be summoned again Monday

Prosecutors said Friday they have once again summoned the floor leader of the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP) on Monday for questioning on suspicions of taking bribes from ailing savings banks.

Rep. Park Jie-won has been notified to appear before the Supreme Prosecutors‘ Office in southern Seoul at 10 a.m. Monday for the second time, following his failure to obey the first summons on Thursday, according to the prosecutors.

The party reconfirmed that the lawmaker does not plan to appear for any such interrogation.

“Park will not comply with the summons, as determined by a party countermeasure committee,” Park Yong-jin, a spokesman of the party, told reporters, noting that the delivery of the second summons was timed for when the prosecution questioned former presidential secretary Kim Hee-jung over the savings bank scandal on Friday.

Park has resisted the prosecution’s plan to question him, saying it is politically driven and intended to distract public attention from the ongoing investigation of the long-time aide to President Lee Myung-bak.

Should Park not appear for questioning, prosecutors said they will seek an arrest warrant for him.

In South Korea, parliamentary approval is required to arrest a lawmaker while the National Assembly is in session.

The three-term lawmaker is suspected of accepting around 100 million won ($87,700) in illegal political funds from the now-suspended Solomon Savings Bank and Bohae Mutual Savings Bank in return for influence peddling, according to the prosecutors.

The investigation into Park came after a joint probe team looking into corruption charges involving the nation‘s savings banks at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office secured testimony from now-jailed Solomon chairman Lim Suk last month that he gave financial benefits to Park. 

Park served as a chief of presidential staff and a culture minister under former President Kim Dae-jung. (Yonhap News)