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(LEAD) Senior prosecutor arrested over bribe-taking

All News 14:57 July 17, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with planned prosecutors' meeting in last 2 paras; ADDS photo; MINOR edits in paras 6-8)

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- A senior prosecutor was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of taking bribes from the country's leading online game maker and using them for stock investments.

Jin Kyung-joon, 49, is accused of amassing massive amounts of wealth through shady stock transactions involving Nexon Co. The game maker allegedly gave some 400 million won (US$348,000) to Jin in 2005, helping him make some 12 billion won in profits through stock transactions by 2015.

The Seoul Central District Court issued the arrest warrant, making Jin the first senior prosecutor in the 68-year history of South Korea's current prosecution system to be put behind bars while in office.

The allegations emerged early this year after Jin reported a whopping increase in his personal wealth in 2015. All ranking government officials and lawmakers are required to annually disclose their personal assets.

Jin offered to quit in April, but the justice ministry has not accepted his resignation.

Shortly after the arrest, Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong issued a public apology, saying he feels terrible and embarrassed that a senior prosecutor with a duty to set an example has become involved in an "unimaginable" corruption case.

Kim said he will make sure the independent counsel investigating the case gets to the truth behind all the allegations against Jin and pursues accountability for any wrongdoing that is found.

The prosecution will also strengthen its internal inspection system to ensure such cases don't happen again, he said.

On Monday, Prosecutor General Kim Soo-nam will convene a meeting of senior prosecutors across the nation at the Supreme Public Prosecutors' Office.

The office said Kim plans to gather the opinions of other prosecutors on how they should respond to Jin's case and issue his own public apology over the scandal.
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