Lee confidant convicted of corruption
Shin Jae-min, a former vice culture minister known as one of President Lee Myung-bak's trusted aides, was sentenced to prison after being convicted of receiving bribes from a Seoul businessman years ago, court officials said Monday.
The Seoul Central District Court ordered the 54-year-old Shin to serve a prison term of three years and six months, pay a fine of 54 million won (US$47,000) and forfeit about 110 million won for receiving 130 million won in bribes from Lee Kuk-chul, chairman of SLS Group, between 2008 and 2009.
The verdict is another blow to the president, whose image has been tarnished by a series of corruption scandals involving his high-level aides. His single five-year term ends early next year and by law, he cannot seek re-election.
The court also sentenced Lee Kuk-chul to three years and six months. He was arrested on charges of offering the bribes to Shin in return for help in excluding SLS's shipbuilding affiliate from the government's debt workout program.
Shin, a former newspaper journalist, had worked for Lee Myung-bak during his presidential election campaign in 2007. (Yonhap)