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Former South Korean president dead, suicide probed: police

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun plunged to his death off a mountainside on Saturday, police said, adding they were investigating a possible suicide.

world Updated: May 23, 2009 09:31 IST

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun plunged to his death off a mountainside on Saturday, police said, adding they were investigating a possible suicide.

Roh, at the centre of a corruption probe, was rushed to hospital after the incident but doctors said he was dead on arrival.

"President Roh fell down a mountain. He was transported to a hospital where doctors said he had been dead upon arrival. But his death has not yet been officially confirmed," a spokesman of the National Police Agency told AFP.

"We're investigating whether he fell by accident or committed suicide," he said.

Yonhap news agency said he had received severe head injuries and died after being moved to a larger hospital in Busan from his hometown of Gimhae.

The corruption probe centred around a payment worth one million dollars to his wife from a wealthy shoemaker, and a payment by the same man worth five million dollars to the husband of one of Roh's nieces, Yeon Cheol-Ho.

Having won office partly on an anti-corruption platform and served from 2003 to 2008, Roh has publicly apologised for his family's involvement in the case but has not admitted personal wrongdoing.