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Police Said to Target Former KICE Director

Posted August. 26, 2002 22:08,   


The Police Agency has launched a criminal investigation against Kim Sung-dong, former director of the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE) who allegedly leaked classified information about the controversial school textbook revision issued by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources (MOEHR), officials from the police agency confirmed on August 26.

The investigation is conducted by a special investigation team in charge of Chungwaedae-ordered cases. The team is reportedly digging into Kim’s track records to find out whether he was involved in any irregularities, apart from the information leaking, sparking controversy over fairness of the investigation.

Prime Minister’s Office accepted a letter of resignation on August 23 when the former KICE director submitted it upon the launch of the investigation.

“Based on a lead from the Chungwaedae presidential staff, our special team is probing the case in which Kim allegedly leaked confidential information,” said the agency. “We also launched an investigation into a irregularity charge against him.”

“He is suspected of improperly handling personnel and budget issues. Indictment will be sought if we find evidence,” said an official from the agency. “We already summoned four KICE officials to ask questions.”

Kim is believed to send a three-page MOEHR document made for a report to Minister Lee Sang-joo to a senior member of Grand National Party’s Educational Council by facsimile on July 27. The report reportedly contains sensitive information including media coverage on the controversial textbook revision and measures the ministry was considering.

As Kim was identified as the one spill the beans, Prime Minister’s Office initially investigated whether and why he leaked the confidential information against the code of civil servant conduct requiring neutrality. The government and Chungwaedae then urged Kim to resign but he declined, prompting a police investigation.

“It is a due course for the special team or a local police authority to probe a government official under suspicion of wrongdoing,” argued the agency in response to the criticism that it is politically motivated.

GNP had also their say. “We received a fax message from an KICE official about its position after media reports,” said GNP lawmaker Kim Jung-sook on August 26 at the party’s supreme council meeting. “It’s absurd that this kind of thing is happening in a free democratic country.”

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