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(LEAD) U.S. asks S. Korea to arrest ex-U.N. chief's brother

All News 11:46 January 21, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with reaction from Ban's aide in last 2 paras; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (Yonhap) -- The United States has asked South Korea to arrest former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's brother on charges of bribery, sources said Saturday.

South Korea's Ministry of Justice is in talks with the U.S. government after it requested the arrest of Ban Ki-sang, the sources said. The younger Ban has been indicted with his son in New York in October.

Ban's brother and his nephew Ban Joo-hyun are accused of attempting to hand over some US$500,000 to an unidentified official from the Middle East in the course of trying to sell a building owned by a South Korean construction firm, Keangnam Enterprises, in Vietnam.

The money, however, is known to have been spent by a middleman named Malcolm Harris before reaching the official.

"Though official discussions have not begun, the two sides are exchanging views on the matter," an official said, adding they are checking relevant laws.

Following the report, Ban's aide released a statement, apologizing for causing concerns with matters related to Ban's relatives.

"Though we have no knowledge of the case, if the judicial authorities of South Korea and the U.S. are going through a consultation as reported, we hope the procedures to be carried out strictly and transparently to address suspicions people have without leaving any doubts."

This photo taken on Jan. 20, 2017, shows former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a reception with the foreign ambassadors' community in Seoul. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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