Prosecution indicts key figure for bribery amid snowballing land development scandal

SEOUL-- The prosecution on Thursday indicted a key suspect widely deemed to be a close aide to the ruling party's presidential candidate, Lee Jae-myung, on charges of bribery related to a corruption-laden urban development scandal engulfing South Korean politics, officials said.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office accused Yoo Dong-gyu, former acting president of Seongnam Development Corp., of receiving kickbacks worth 350 million won (US$298,000) from local developers for a project to develop the Daejang-dong district in the city of Seongnam, south of Seoul, into residential complexes.

Yoo has been in custody since early October on charges of breach of trust and bribery in connection with the lucrative project.

Officials said the prosecution will indict Yoo on the charge of breach of trust after further investigation.

Yoo became the first suspect to be indicted by the state prosecutors, who have been widening their investigation into the scandal over the past month.

Earlier this week, investigators questioned four other key figures who have allegedly colluded with Yoo to have a little-known asset management firm, Hwacheon Daeyu, take part in the lucrative project.

The scandal has received intense media coverage due to its potential impact on next year's presidential election, as Yoo is widely regarded as a close aide to Lee, the ruling Democratic Party's presidential candidate.

Source: Yonhap News Agency