Prosecutors requested arrest warrants for two former aides to senior presidential secretary for political affairs Jun Byung-hun late Wednesday on embezzlement and other charges.
The two former aides and another person are accused of colluding in siphoning off 110 million won ($98,700) from a cable TV channel's donation to a computer gaming organization in 2015. The industry body was at that time chaired by Jun, then an influential lawmaker.
The suspects have been in custody for questioning since Tuesday. They face charges of embezzlement and money laundering. One of the aides surnamed Yun also faces a bribery charge.
|This file photo, dated Sept. 26, 2017, shows senior presidential secretary for political affairs Jun Byung-hun. (Yonhap)|
They are suspected to have pressured Lotte Homeshopping to contribute 300 million won to the Korea e-Sports Association.
Prosecutors are also looking into suspicions that the donation by the shopping channel, which has little to do with computer games, may have been intended to solicit his influence for the renewal of its broadcasting license.
Jun belonged to the parliamentary committee on broadcasting and communications at the time.
Jun has flatly rejected such allegations, saying he was never involved in any illegality.
The investigation grew out of an illegal lobbying scandal involving the home shopping channel.
Last year, the chief of Lotte Homeshopping, Kang Hyeon-gu, was indicted on charges of submitting false reports to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to renew its business license, and of creating slush funds and using the money to lobby government officials.
Kang was sentenced to a suspended prison term earlier this month. (Yonhap)