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Prosecution launches probe into graft allegations on head of minor opposition party

Prosecutors said Monday they launched an investigation into allegations that the head of the conservative opposition Bareun Party received kickbacks from a businesswoman in return for favors.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said it will look into the suspicions raised against Rep. Lee Hye-hoon by a 65-year-old surnamed Oak, who claims to have given her cash and gifts worth about 60 million won ($53,000) from October 2015 to March this year. 

Rep. Lee Hye-hoon, the leader of the minor conservative Bareun Party, speaks at a party meeting on Sept. 4, 2017. (Yonhap)
Rep. Lee Hye-hoon, the leader of the minor conservative Bareun Party, speaks at a party meeting on Sept. 4, 2017. (Yonhap)

She told an news outlet she expected business favors and that Lee actually introduced her to some influential figures in return.

Oak lodged a petition with the prosecution last week seeking an investigation into the three-term lawmaker.

Earlier in the day, Lee hinted at stepping down as the party's leader over the graft scandal. She has denied there were any illicit deals between her and Oak, saying that she has paid her back everything she borrowed. (Yonhap)
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