Prison term confirmed for ex-President Lee's confidant over bribery

Yonhap, September 12 2013

The Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed a two-year prison term for Park Young-june, a former vice commerce minister under the previous Lee Myung-bak administration, for bribery.

Park was convicted of taking some 160 million won (US$148,000) in kickbacks from a local property developer in exchange for helping him win a construction permit for a major trade center in southern Seoul.

The 53-year-old, known as one of the closest confidants to then-President Lee, was also found guilty of ordering surveillance on officials at the Ulsan Metropolitan City Government as well as several private companies over another construction project.

In the same ruling, the top court upheld the lower court's order that Park forfeit about 194 million won.

In a separate case, prosecutors on Tuesday indicted Park on charges of accepting bribes in return for helping a local builder in its bid to win a nuclear reactor contract.

The disgraced former vice minister allegedly took 50 million won in March 2010 from a broker in exchange for peddling his influence for Hankook Jungsoo Industries Co., a local water treatment firm, in its bid to take part in the government's project to build nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirate, prosecutors said.

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