Former S Korean ruling party official's home raided in bribery probe

Former S Korean ruling party official's home raided in bribery probe

Prosecutors raided on Friday the residence of a former official of the ruling Saenuri Party as part of the probe into the high-profile graft scandal surrounding late business tycoon Sung Woan-jong and President Park Geun-hye's top aides.

Investigators stormed into the residence of the former deputy spokesman for then-presidential candidate Park's election campaign, identified only by the surname Kim, to secure evidence, according to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

Kim was suspected of receiving 200 million won (S$242,000) in illicit political funds from a confidant of Sung, the chairman of Keangnam Enterprises, at the company's headquarters ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Following the raid, the prosecution summoned Kim in the afternoon to question him as to whether he accepted money from the late businessman and to whom he delivered the money.

The graft scandal surfaced after Sung claimed in a media interview that he offered campaign funds to eight politicians including South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Hong Joon-pyo and former Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo before his suicide last month.

Prosecutors are scheduled to indict the two political heavyweights without detention on charges of violating the Political Fund Act.

The prosecution, meanwhile, sent a letter requesting relevant documents from the remaining six that were mentioned on Sung's list. They include Saenuri Rep. Hong Moon-jong, Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok, Busan Mayor Suh Byung-soo and former presidential chiefs of staff Kim Ki-choon and Huh Tae-yeol.

Sources said such a request on paper indicates that there is not enough circumstantial evidence to further the investigation.

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