21 Feb '12, 8am

S. Korea parliament speaker charged with bribery

S. Korea parliament speaker charged with bribery

SEOUL: South Korea's parliamentary speaker was charged with bribery on Tuesday, prosecutors said, in a scandal that has forced him to stand down and rocked the ruling party in a key election year. Prosecutors said they have brought bribery charges against speaker Park Hee-Tae, one of his aides and Kim Hyo-Jae, a former senior presidential aide, but have not detained the trio. Park, 74, is suspected of offering cash in envelopes to lawmakers of the conservative ruling party, formerly known as Grand National Party, before a vote -- which Park won -- to select a new party chief in 2008. Kim and the aide are accused of helping Park distribute bribes. The scandal was exposed last month by a lawmaker who claimed he had received an envelope stuffed with three million won ($2,865) from an aide to the speaker, which he returned. Park, who quit the party post before becoming speaker...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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