Former Korean tycoon to be quizzed over graft allegations

Former Korean tycoon to be quizzed over graft allegations

Prosecutors on Friday will summon a former business tycoon and a board chairman of a Seoul-based university for allegedly giving kickbacks to a senior presidential secretary in 2011, authorities said.

Park Yong-sung, ex-head of Doosan Group and Chung-Ang University, faces charges of giving bribes worth 100 million won (S$120,784) to Park Bum-hoon, who served as a senior presidential secretary for education and culture during the Lee Myung-bak administration.

The former presidential secretary had allegedly pressured the Education Ministry to approve controversial projects that Chung-Ang University was pursuing from 2011 to 2012, in return for the bribe.

Chung-Ang University had applied to have its campuses in Seoul and Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, put under a single foundation, despite education laws forbidding mergers between campuses more than 20 kilometers apart.

Prosecutors suspect that kickbacks were given to the former secretary in the form of real estate, donations to a cultural foundation led by him, and financial support for concerts that he had commissioned.

Authorities will also look into allegations that Park had illegally provided favoured status to Woori Bank, in 2008 by giving it quasi-monopoly rights on Chung-Ang University campuses and facilities.

Park is a traditional Korean music expert and an ex-Chung-Ang University president, having served from 2005 to 2011. Authorities detained him last Saturday on charges of exerting undue pressure on the Education Ministry.

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