Prosecutors questioned a former vice Cabinet minister and close aide to President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday over allegations that a businessman paid for an expensive drinking session and a rental car during his trip to Japan.
Park Young-june, 50, who served as vice knowledge economy minister, is suspected of being treated with lavish drinking parties and a rental car, which amounted to a combined 300,000 yen ($3,848), from the chief of a subsidiary of SLS Group in Japan, surnamed Kwon, in May 2009.
At that time, Park had served as vice minister for government policy at South Korea's Prime Minister's Office.
Park has denied the allegations and filed libel suits against SLS Group chairman Lee Kuk-chul, who first raised the allegations last September.
Upon his arrival at a prosecutors' office in southern Seoul, Park told reporters that he will "definitively clarify all the facts."
Park's case is part of a far-reaching bribery scandal in which the SLS chairman allegedly greased the palms of high-profile politicians and public officials in search of business favors. He was arrested in November.
SLS is a mid-sized business group with 10 subsidiaries, including heavy industry and shipbuilding firms. The affiliates have either gone bankrupt or into a debt workout program since 2009 when the chairman was investigated on suspicion of bribery and other charges. (Yonhap)