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Clash over illegal loan scandal heating up

Posted November. 05, 2000 20:00,   


The clash between the ruling and the opposition parties concerning the Dongbang Mutual Savings and Financial Company illegal loan scandal has escalated with no end in sight. The ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) lodged a defamation charge against opposition Grand National Party (GNP) Rep. Lee Ju-Young, who disclosed the names of ruling party representatives, alleged to have invested in the funds personally managed by Chung Hyun-Joon. The ruling MDP is further devising even more forceful action against the opposition party. Meanwhile, the opposition GNP levied charges of suspicion surrounding the apparent suicide of the former bureau chief of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Chang Rae-Chan.

Opposition GNP members of the National Assembly State Affairs Committee held a press conference on Sunday and revealed that a credible witness has come forth and testified that prosecution investigators saw the late bureau chief enter his own home on the day of the suicide but failed to arrest him. The GNP did not elaborate, but pledged to fully disclose the matter at a later time. The opposition GNP further disclosed a list of personal bank notes issued by Korea Digital Line president Jung Hyun-Joon and their dates of issue and numbers, and asked for a confirmation of the FSS procedures for the acceptance of such notes. The list contains the details of 106 bank notes issued in Chung's name from February to September this year through four banks -- Hanvit, Shinhan, Housing and Peace. The total value of the bank notes is about 83.9 billion won.

Meanwhile, Lee Kyung-Ja and KDL president Chung, who have been summoned and await investigation while detained at the Seoul Police detention facility, expressed their intention to refuse to take the witness stand during the National Assembly administrative investigation. GNP Vice-chairman Lee Bu-Young accused the prosecutors of having pressured them to refuse to appear and called for a court order to force them to attend the interrogation. Ruling MDP Rep. Lee Hoon-Pyung also called for a court order for them to appear and disclose all details of the scandal as a means to clear his name from being tainted by the controversy.

The ruling MDP, which lodged formal charges with the Prosecutors' Office as well as the National Assembly Ethics Committee against Rep Lee Ju-Young, formed a "committee for measures against political maneuvering" and decided that Rep. Lee's statement should not be ignored or go unpunished. The commission also decided to distribute explanatory notices to all regional party offices.

In addition, the MDP has decided to submit a formal request for the public disclosure of various issues, including whether the GNP discussed the release of the actual names of the alleged fund investors, the name of the person who ordered Rep. Lee to reveal the names and the exact nature of the relationship between Rep. Chung Hyung-Keun and Chung Hyun-Joon. The ruling MDP also challenged the GNP to a publicly televised debate and revealed its plan to lodge charges with the National Assembly after a discussion with National Assembly Chairman Lee Man-Sup.