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Possible Inducement of False Testimony on Coercive Probe

Possible Inducement of False Testimony on Coercive Probe

Posted May. 22, 2002 21:25,   


A high official of the legal rescue advisory group of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and others visited a reference witness who was hospitalized during the probe on the irregularities of vice chairman of the Asia-Pacific Peace Foundation Kim Hong-Up and allegedly called for a false testimony to the witness. In relation to the incident, it is known that the prosecution has secured the audiotape, recording conversations at the time of the visit.

The central investigative office (chief prosecutor Kim Jong-Bin) of the Supreme Public Prosecutor`s Office disclosed that the prosecution has the audiotape recording the conversation between vice chairman of the MDP legal rescue advisory group Choi Young-Sik who called in the hospital on May 21 and Yoo Jin-Gul, a friend of Hong-Up, who was hospitalized during the prosecution`s probe on May 12

The prosecution said, `We have, at that time, prepared a questionnaire to be answered by Mr. Yoo and gave it to CEO of the Pyungchang Composite Construction Inc. Yoo June-Gul, an elder brother of Yoo, and since defense lawyer Choi and a close associate of Hong-Up Mr. Chung visited the patient during the recording session of Yoo`s answer to the questionnaire, the conversation between Yoo and the defense lawyer has been recorded.`

The prosecution commented on the content of the audiotape, `As the recording quality is not so good, specific words of the defense lawyer is not audible.`

However, it is known that Yoo have spoken in numerous occasions about `having no coercive investigative measures taken against me` in the recorded tape. Accordingly, a suspicion that defense lawyer Choi might have tried to induce `coercive investigation statement` from Yoo is growing.

In other hand, the prosecution is investigating an allegation that Kim Sung-Hwan, a close associate of Hong-Up, received one hundred million Won from Pyungchang Composite Construction Company as a kickback for the end of the covert investigation on the close relationship between the company and Ulsan mayor Sim Wan-Gu and relayed the money to some senior prosecutors. The special investigative office of the Ulsan District Public Prosecutor`s Office (DPPO) had conducted the covert investigation in early last year.

In relation to this, a related person of the company stated, `I have given a promissory note of two hundred million Won denomination including one hundred million Won for a kickback for loan support and one hundred million for a kickback for the finishing-off of the covert investigation of the prosecution,` according to the prosecution. However, the prosecution added, `The related person stated that he did not say Kim Sung-Hwan to relay some of the money to senior prosecutors.`

It is known that Kim Sung-Hwan denied the allegation saying, `I have received one hundred million as a kickback for loan support, but I have not received a kickback for the prosecution`s end of the covert investigation.`

A related person in the Ulsan DPPO said, `We had conducted an intensive covert investigation on Pyungchang Composite Construction Inc. but we ended the investigation as we could not find clear criminal evidence, and we have received little pressure and civilian petition from the inside of the prosecution or the outside.

The prosecution has also traced five or six accounts belonging to Mr. Yoo in the name of others, found out that some of three billion Won has been deposited from a local branch of a Busan-based company, and is digging out the character of the money.

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com