Prosecutors file for arrest warrant for Busan's ex-vice mayor on bribery charges

Jay Yim, Nov. 25, 2019, 12:40 p.m.

State prosecutors filed for a warrant to arrest Yoo Jae-soo, former vice mayor of Busan, on Monday on charges of bribery.

The prosecution requested a Seoul court issue the warrant for the 55-year-old Yoo over allegations he took kickbacks when he served as director-general of the financial regulator Financial Services Commission (FSC) in 2017.

Prosecutors have widened their probe into allegations surrounding Yoo since late last month, raiding the FSC as well as financial companies. Yoo was questioned for more than 17 hours last week at the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors Office.

The Seoul Eastern District Court is scheduled to review the prosecution's request on Wednesday.

Yoo was under surveillance of a special inspection team of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae over allegations that he took bribes from businesses, including overseas study expenses and a flight ticket for his child.

But Yoo avoided punishment for an unknown reason and became Busan's vice mayor in charge of economic affairs in 2018. He recently resigned from the post.

The prosecution is looking into allegations that Cho Kuk, former top presidential secretary for civil affairs, and other former Cheong Wa Dae officials may be behind the sudden end of the inspection into Yoo.

In February, a former special inspector filed a petition with the prosecution against Cho, claiming the surveillance was abruptly suspended despite alleged wrongdoings by Yoo.

If Yoo is arrested, the case may affect the prosecution's separate probe into Cho, former justice minister whose wife is under investigation over a dubious financial investment and her daughter's college admission.

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