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President’s‘political mentor’ Choi arrested in bribery case

Choi See-joong (Yonhap News)
Choi See-joong (Yonhap News)
Former Korea Communications Commission Chairman Choi See-joong was arrested on Monday on charges of accepting bribes from a construction developer.

Choi, 75, with close ties to President Lee Myung-bak is suspected of having received 800 million won ($700,000) from his long-time friend some five years ago in return for leveraging his influence in getting a complex construction named Picity approved by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Choi has denied the charges and said he only received 200 million from the friend, Lee Dong-ryul, for personal use.

The Seoul Central District Court approved the arrest of Choi submitted by the prosecutors on Thursday.

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office summoned former Vice Knowledge and Economy Minister Park Young-joon for questioning May 2 as part of investigation into the same bribery scandal.

The prosecutors raided the house and office of a close associate of Park identified as Lee over the weekend in relation to the allegation.

Prosecutors reportedly discovered dubious money exchange between Park and Lee, and are looking for any connection with 1 billion won allegedly delivered from the contractor to Park.

By Lee Joo-hee  (jhl@heraldcorp.com)

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