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SLS chairman claims bribing prosecutor

SLS Group chairman Lee Kuk-chul, under prosecutorial investigation for allegedly amassing slush funds and bribing government officials, claimed Friday that he had delivered 100 million won to a senior prosecutor through a businessman.

Lee made the latest allegation in a press conference hours after the prosecution raided his office and home in search of evidence and confiscated computer hard disks and documents.
Investigators search SLS Group chairman Lee Kuk-chul’s office in southern Seoul on Friday for materials to prove his claims that he bribed ex-culture minister Shin Jae-min. (Yonhap News)
Investigators search SLS Group chairman Lee Kuk-chul’s office in southern Seoul on Friday for materials to prove his claims that he bribed ex-culture minister Shin Jae-min. (Yonhap News)

Lee, whose company is on the verge of collapse, has continued to hold press conferences in the past weeks, claiming that he provided former vice culture minister Shin Jae-min with cash, gift certificates, corporate credit cards and a car.

Investigators from the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office also searched the homes of Lee’s brother, brother-in-law, cousin and a friend of his, days after the troubled businessman handed over credit card receipts to the prosecution to prove that he gave 1 billion won to Shin.

Lee has asserted that he appealed over the workout of his group last year to Kwon Jae-jin, then top presidential aide for civil affairs and now Justice Minister, through a Daegu-based businessman surnamed Lee. The SLS Group chairman was introduced to the Daegu businessman by a friend surnamed Kang. The prosecution also searched Kang’s house.

Three former and incumbent Cheong Wa Dae officials have sued the SLS Group chairman for libel after he told reporters that he bribed them through Shin.

The prosecution plans to summon Lee for the third time after examining the confiscated materials.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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