Former UN chief Ban Ki Moon's relatives charged in US bribery case

US prosecutors have accused two relatives of former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon of engaging in a scheme to bribe a Middle Eastern official in connection with the attempted sale of a building in Vietnam.

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Less than two weeks after stepping down from the top job at the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon has been thrown back into the spotlight - and not in a good way.

His brother and nephew have been charged with conspiring to bribe a government official from the Middle East - a New York federal court accusing them of agreeing to pay $2.5 million (S$3.58 million) to secure the sale of a building complex in Vietnam called Landmark 72.

Ban is in no way implicated, but the charges come at a very awkward time for him. He's widely expected to enter the race for South Korea's presidency and a bid for office could be tarnished by the case.

On Wednesday (Jan 11), a spokesman said Ban has no knowledge of the matter and is surprised by what he's heard.