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SOUTH KOREA: ROH TAE WOO ARRESTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

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Published on Jul 21, 2015

Korean/Nat

Former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo has been arrested on corruption charges.

Roh admitted in a nationally televised address late last month that he amassed a 650 (m) million dollar slush fund during his term in office.

He also admitted he left office with 230 (m) million dollars in secret bank accounts.

The scandal has drawn in the nation's biggest conglomerates and threatens to topple several top politicians.

After twenty hours of interrogation, former President Roh Tae-woo emerged from the prosecutors' office.

He had just been issued an arrest warrant charging Roh with two counts of accepting bribes.

The first is 31 (m) million dollars from the Daewoo group in return for a major submarine depot and 300 (m) million from 30 top companies.

Prosecutors indicated that other people, including some top businessmen, could be arrested in connection with the scandal.

Roh has admitted taking money from businesses, claiming they were making donations. But prosecutors said they have evidence of bribery.

Roh is also suspected of having diverted some of his ill-gotten money to secret Swiss bank accounts.

It is the first time a former South Korean president has faced legal action for deeds committed while in office.

SOUNDBITE: (Korean)
I apologise deeply to the people of Korea. I will take full responsibility for this scandal and I am ready to accept any punishment. I am very sad that because of this scandal many businessmen have been through many difficulties. I would like to ask the Korean people to make sure that the businesses do not fall behind economically or internationally by looking after them and giving them strength and support. I'd like to tell the politicians one thing I will bear all the mistrust and conflict. I will take these with me. I will take any punishment. Please let this be a lesson to you. Do away with the distrust and conflict. Create a new political culture through understanding and cooperation. Let's leave this for the next generation. Thank you.
SUPER CAPTION: Roh Tae-woo

The scandal broke last month when an opposition legislator disclosed one of Roh's secret bank accounts.

Since then, prosecutors have questioned nearly 40 top businessmen who allegedly contributed money to the ex-president's slush fund.

Top opposition leader Kim Dae-jung has admitted he received 2.5 (m) million from Roh for his unsuccessful 1992 presidential campaign, seriously tarnishing his image.

He also claimed that Roh funnelled considerably more money into
President Kim Young-sam's successful 1992 campaign. Kim has denied the charges.

Roh Tae-woo was driven to Seoul detention centre.

The warrant is good for 20 days, during which time the prosecution can revise or add charges.

The detention period can be extended only once -- by another 20 days -- before Roh must be formally indicted.


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