[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
South Korea arrests brother of president
Former lawmaker's arrest and detention on bribery charges are deep embarrassment to ruling party in election year.
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2012 12:44
Lee Sang-Deuk was detained early on July 11 pending trial on corruption charges [AFP]

The brother of South Korea's president's was arrested and taken to a detention centre after a court approved a warrant on bribery allegations.

The arrest on Wednesday was a major embarrassment to the ruling party in a presidential election year, and the first time in South Korean political history that a sitting president's brother has been jailed.

The Seoul Central District Court issued the arrest warrant for Lee Sang-deuk, the elder brother of President Lee Myung-bak, late on Tuesday.

Hours earlier, as the suspect entered the court for questioning, enraged protesters threw eggs at him, grabbed his tie and jostled him.

Lee was taken early on Wednesday from the prosecutors' office to the Seoul Detention Centre, according to an official who declined to provide further details, including his name, citing office rules.

As he left the prosecutors' office, Lee said he was "sorry" when asked by a reporter if he had anything to say to the country's president and the South Korean people.

The former lawmaker is accused of taking half-a-million dollars in bribes over four years from two detained bankers with the intent of using his influence to help the bankers avoid punishment.

The parliament has also voted not to allow an arrest warrant for Chung Doo-un, a current member of parliament accused of introducing Sang-deuk to the chairman of one of the two saving banks that gave him money. 

Both banks were suspended earlier this year.

Lee Myung-bak ends his single, five-year presidential term early next year, and elections for the next president are in December.

255

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.