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Assembly holds hearing on Constitutional Court head

Posted September. 05, 2000 20:47,   


The National Assembly on Tuesday grilled Yun Young-Chul, president-designate of the Constitutional Court, over a wide-range of issues, including the fact that he received a huge amount of pay as a legal advisor to Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Electronics during a confirmation hearing.

Rep. Lee In-Ki of the opposition Grand National Party, alleging that Yun received a total of 710 million won as advisor¡¯s fee from the Samsung Group for three years from 1997 to 1999, asked if he took the money in return for engaging in the conglomerate¡¯s illegal inheritance and donation.

Rep. Kim Young-Hwan of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party also alleged that Yun was inaugurated as a legal advisor to Samsung Electronics in May 1997 shortly after Samsung¡¯s illegal donation (of wealth to the children of chairman Lee Kun-Hee) caused a controversy.

He said that just before employing Yun as a legal advisor, Samsung transformed convertible bonds to shares and applied for their listing and asked if Samsung intended to have legal advice from Yun about the illegal practice.

Yun said that before accepting Samsung¡¯s offer for the post of legal advisor, he asked the Korea Bar Association to allow him to hold an additional job, but the association said that he needed not obtain its approval because his job was to provide legal advice.

The president-designate of the Constitutional Court of Korea also said that he received pay of a similar level to other Samsung executives.

As for the claim by Rep. Lee In-Ki that it was illegal for him to receive the pay if it was not income from a business, but earned income while serving as a legal advisor to the Samsung subsidiaries, Yun partially admitted a procedural defect, saying such a problem could take place, even though he did not, but Samsung did.

Asked about the background of the sharp increase of his wife¡¯s assets from 26 million won in 1993 to 685 million won, he said he gave his earning to his wife with the notion that the attorney¡¯s income should be common property of husband and wife. If this practice is problematic, he said he intends to pay the donation tax.

As for the question of revising or scrapping the National Security Law, Yun said that a law should be interpreted according to the conditions of the reality, showing a flexible attitude.

With regard to the issue of (the ruling party¡¯s) railroading of the revision bill of the National Assembly Law, Yun said the question should be dealt with autonomously by the Assembly, but said that if the act violated the Constitution or disturbed the order, it should be the subject of the constitutional trial.

The Assembly will conduct another confirmation hearing on Wednesday on candidates for Constitutional Court judges — Kwon Seong and Kim Hyo-Jong.