Seoul's court issues arrest warrant for former S. Korean PM

10:46, December 17, 2009      

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South Korea's Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook apologizes to the nation at the government house in Seoul August 29, 2006. South Korea's local court on late Wednesday issued a warrant to arrest former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook, who has been charged with taking 50,000 U.S. dollars from a businessman, prosecution said.(Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

South Korea's local court on late Wednesday issued a warrant to arrest former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook, who has been charged with taking 50,000 U.S. dollars from a businessman, prosecution said.

The warrant was issued as Han was refusing to face prosecution questioning on an alleged bribery scandal that claims Han received the money from Kwak Young-wook, ex-CEO of Korea Express, in 2007 when she was still in office.

In return for the money, according to the allegation, Han has helped Kwak, who is now under arrest on embezzlement charges, win the top post of the company.

"Investigators have secured Kwak's confession and relevant testimony from others regarding the circumstances leading to the payment of the bribe to Han," a prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office was quoted as saying.

Han, rebuffing the prosecutor claims, questioned the motivation behind the investigation and said she would respond to prosecutors in a legal way.

"It is absurd that the arrest warrant was issued based only on one man's testimony,"Han's aide Yang Jung-chul told local media.

The political rumor accusing the 65-year-old former prime minister was first reported by a local newspaper last week.

Having served as prime minister under the administration of late former President Roh Moo-hyun from April 2006 to March 2007, Han currently sits as a senior adviser to the main opposition Democratic Party.

Source: Xinhua
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