Posted September. 26, 2003 23:22,
Six people prosecuted for money transfer to North Korea before the interKorean summit in 2000 were found guilty. The court did not view the money transfer as the nations governance activity.
The Seoul District Court Friday sentenced Lee Ki-ho, the former presidential economic advisor, to three years in prison with 4 year suspension of execution on charges of misfeasance in public office and influence peddling.
Im Dong-won, the former chief of the National Intelligence Service, was sentenced to one year and six months in prison with 3 year suspension of execution on charges of violating the previous law on the foreign currency exchange and the inter-Korean exchange and cooperation.
Kim Un-kyeu, the president of Hyundai Asan was sentenced to one year in prison with 2 year suspension of execution for violating the previous law on foreign currency exchange. Lee Keun-yeong, the former governor of the Korea Development Bank and Park Sang-bae, the vice governor of the KDB, were sentenced to 3 years in prison with 4 year suspension of execution and two years and six months in prison with three year suspension of execution, respectively, for giving illegal loans to Hyundai Group.
The court ordered paying a fine of 10 million won to Choi Kyu-bak, the former head of policy coordination unit in the NIS, with 2 year suspension of execution.
˝The money transfer to North Korea is closely related to the interkorean summit, which is a governance activity. But the money transfer itself is not a governance activity. Therefore, illegal activities done in the process of the cash transfer should be investigated by the legal authority. The court approved the indictment by the special counsel and thus found the money transfer illegal.˝ said the court in its verdict.
The court also said that ˝The summit between South Korea and North Korea has a huge significance in history. But it is not right to violate the rule of law to secretly send money to North Korea. But considering a number of changes the summit brought about such as increased interkorean economic cooperation, changes in peoples perception to North Korea, the court ruled suspension of execution.
The so called cash for summit scandal˝ broke out when Park Ji-won, the former culture and tourism minister, and the late Jeong Mong-heon, the chairman of Hyundai Asan, sent $450 million to North Korea before the June 15 inter-Korean summit in 2000. After special counsel launched the investigation into the case in April, it prosecuted eight people including six people sentenced Friday, the former minister Park and the former chairman Jeong.
The former minister Park Ji-won was not sentenced on Friday as he was additionally prosecuted for receiving Hyundai`s slush funds worth of 15 billion won. After the ruling, special prosecutor Park Kwang-bin said that whether to appeal or not would be decided after the ruling is reported to chief special prosecutor Song Du-hwan. Im Dong-won, the former chief of the NIS, that he would appeal the conviction.