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South Korean army officer accused of bribery in Iraq

world Updated: Jan 10, 2009 12:57 IST

AP
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A South Korean army officer has been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes from a local construction firm while serving in Iraq, a Defense Ministry official said on Saturday.

The 30-year old captain is accused of taking $25,000 and a digital camera from the firm in return for extending the deadline for constructing facilities at the Korean military base in Iraq, the official said on condition of anonymity citing the ongoing investigation.

South Korean military prosecutors arrested the captain last month along with a master sergeant in the same unit who is accused of demanding bribes from the Iraqi firm, the official said. The official declined to identify the two army engineers involved as well as the Iraqi firm.

He said prosecutors will decide whether to indict the two in the next few days.

In December, South Korea ended its five year reconstruction mission in Irbil, about 220 miles north of Baghdad. The South Korean contingent numbered about 3,600 troops at its height, making Seoul the third largest US coalition partner in Iraq.

The deployment was largely unpopular with the South Korean public, but Seoul billed it as a way to strengthen its alliance with Wa