SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The South Korean president’s brother was arrested and taken to a detention center Wednesday after a court approved a warrant on bribery allegations, a major embarrassment to the ruling party in a presidential election year.
The Seoul Central District Court issued the arrest warrant for Lee Sang-deuk, the elder brother of President Lee Myung-bak, late Tuesday. Hours earlier, as the suspect entered the court for questioning, enraged protesters threw eggs at him, grabbed his tie and jostled him.
Lee was taken early Wednesday from the prosecutors’ office to the Seoul Detention Center, according to an official who declined to provide further details, including his name, citing office rules.
Prosecutors accuse the former lawmaker of taking half a million dollars in bribes from two detained bankers with the intent of using his influence to help the bankers avoid punishment.
Lee wasn’t directly hit by any of the eggs during the protest Tuesday, but some yolk could be seen on his shoulder. He didn’t speak to a swarm of reporters gathered at the court, shaking off the protesters and media mobbing him before walking through a security checkpoint.
The protesters, many of them middle-aged women, said they had lost money after the government suspended the troubled savings banks Lee is accused of taking bribes from.
Lee Myung-bak ends his single, five-year presidential term early next year. Elections for the next president are in December.
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