- Special Pages
SEOUL: South Korean investigators yesterday raided the home and office of President Lee Myung-Bak’s eldest brother as part of a probe into alleged irregularities in a project to build Lee’s retirement home.
The raid came a day after a special prosecutor requested that Lee’s only son, Lee Si-Hyung, and 10 other people linked to the now-defunct project be barred from leaving the country.
Yonhap news agency said raid was on the home of Lee Sang-Eun in eastern Seoul and his office at auto seat maker DAS, where he serves as chairman, in the southeastern city of Gyeongju.
The controversy centres around the joint purchase last year -- by Lee Si-Hyung and the presidential security service -- of a plot of land on the southern edge of Seoul.
As well as a retirement residence for the president, who leaves office at the beginning of next year, the site would have included facilities for security personnel.
But the cost was allegedly not shared evenly, with suggestions that the security service paid too high a price for its share, while Lee’s son got a below-market rate for the residential plot.
Lee Sang-Eun reportedly loaned his nephew 600m won ($542,000) for the purchase.
The presidential Blue House has denied opposition claims of financial chicanery.