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Ex-ROK leader willbe quizzed over cash

PROSECUTORS of the Republic of Korea will summon for questioning former President Roh Moo-hyun over his alleged involvement in a high-profile corruption scandal, an official said yesterday.

Prosecutors have already questioned Roh's family members, including his wife and son, earlier this month on suspicion they accepted US$6 million from a detained businessman when Roh served as president from 2003 to 2008.

Roh has admitted his wife took US$1 million from Park Yeon-cha, the head of a local shoe manufacturer, but suggested it was not a bribe.

He also said he was aware that Park separately gave US$5 million to a relative but thought it was mere investment.

Prosecution spokesman Cho Eun-sok said his team planned to summon Roh on Thursday.

Cho did not provide details but earlier said the investigation of Roh would focus on whether the US$6 million was eventually conveyed to the former president.

The scandal is a major blow for the ex-president, a former human rights lawyer and liberal politician who took office in 2003 as a reformist with a clean image. His single five-year term ended early last year.

Several of his former aides and associates also have been investigated on suspicion of taking illicit money from Park, who has been detained since being indicted in December on separate bribery and tax-evasion charges.

Roh's elder brother also was indicted in December for his alleged involvement in a separate bribery scandal.


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