SEOUL, South Korea – 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, 76, 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.
"I'm sorry," Lee told reporters who asked what he'd say to the president, after leaving the prosecutors' office for the jail, according to Yonhap news agency.
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. Some of the protesters outside court said they lost money after the government suspended the troubled savings banks Lee is accused of taking bribes from.
Lee wasn't directly hit by any of the eggs during the protest Tuesday, but some yolk could be seen on his shoulder.
Lee Myung-bak ends his single, five-year presidential term early next year. Elections for the next president are in December.