S Korean ex-PM involved in bribery scandal to stand trial

16:16, March 08, 2010      

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South Korea's former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook stands trial Monday for her alleged involvement in a bribery scandal, just at a time when she is poised to run for mayor of Seoul, South Korea's capital.

The country's first and only female prime minister has been booked without physical detention for allegedly taking kickbacks in December 2006 from a former CEO in return for helping him get the top post at the company he previously worked for, a charge she repeatedly denied.

She is expected to speak officially on the allegation for the first time at the trial, as she pleaded her right to remain silent during investigations, according to local media.

The local court previously said it will make a ruling on April 9, considering the schedules for local elections slated for June 2. Having served as prime minister under the Roh Moo-hyun administration from April 2006 to March 2007, Han currently sits as a senior adviser to the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), which has called the bribery charges "politically motivated."

Experts say the outcome of the trial will have a direct influence on the local elections, and further decide whether the governing camp will hold on successfully to power and wins another presidential election in 2012.

Source: Xinhua

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