S Korea's prosecutors mulling over issuing warrant on former PM

13:50, December 17, 2009      

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The South Korean prosecution is seeking to execute a warrant as early as Friday, which had been issued against South Korea's former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sookover alleged bribery, local media said here Thursday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office plans to further encourage Han, charged with taking 50,000 U.S. dollars from a businessman, to voluntarily appear before court, but would proceed to enforce the arrest warrant if necessary, local media outlets reported.

But prosecutors might not attempt to forcibly arrest her on concerns that the step would provoke more political swirl, according to media reports.

The move comes after the ex-prime minister's repeated refusal to turn herself in to face 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.

South Korea's first and only female prime minister has called the move politically motivated and has said she would respond to prosecutors in a legal way, citing the right to remain silent.

Having 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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