SEOUL, Lee Suk-chae, former chairman of KT Corp., was arrested Tuesday over his suspected involvement in a hiring scandal at the telecom giant.
The Seoul Southern District Court issued an arrest warrant for the 74-year-old Lee after holding a hearing Tuesday to review the legality of pretrial detention for him.
The court said the arrest warrant was issued due to concerns of destruction of evidence.
Lee, who served as KT chairman from 2009 to 2013, is suspected of being involved in nine cases of hiring irregularities at KT in 2012.
He is accused of giving instructions to provide preferential treatment to nine job applicants with ties to powerful figures, including the daughter of Rep. Kim Sung-tae, a former floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Korea.
Prosecutors charged Lee with obstruction of business in connection with the alleged hiring irregularities.
Lee, who also served as the information and communication minister before joining KT, has been summoned by prosecutors twice to be grilled about his role in the KT hiring scandal but reportedly denied the charges against him.
In a related development, Seo Yu-yeol, a former KT president, and Kim Sang-hyo, a former KT executive in charge of personnel affairs, were recently arrested and indicted on charges that they gave undue favors to Rep. Kim's daughter and five other applicants for KT positions in 2012.
Prosecutors suspect that Seo and Kim Sang-hyo gave preferential treatment to some job candidates on an instruction from Lee.
Source: Yonhap news Agency