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Investigation of Nara Bank`s Illegal Lobby Reopened

Posted April. 06, 2003 22:13,   


A special task force of the prosecution announced yesterday that it would subpoena Ahn Hui-jung and Yeom Dong-yeon of the Millennium Democratic Party for questioning. The special task force unit has been investigating misuse of the taxpayers` money. The two are suspected of receiving 200 million won (or, approximately $170,000) and 50 million won (or $40,000) from Bosung group.

The prosecution`s investigation will be focused on what Ahn and Yeom did for former Bosung chairman Kim Ho-jun in return for the money they received from him in 1999.

The investigative unit reportedly intends to ban overseas traveling of the two in the near future.

Previously, former chairman Kim reportedly said before the prosecution, "I gave money to Ahn and Yeom in June and August of 1999." But the prosecution did not make any formal statement, and wrapped it up by just recording it as a note.

The task force has also opened up its old investigation with regard to the 23 billion won slush fund of former chairman Kim, which was managed by director Choi working for a Bosung affiliate.

Reopening its investigation, the prosecution aims at uncovering whether Bosung group engaged in illegal lobbying to save its affiliate Nara Banking Corporation and which politicians and government officials, if any, received bribes in return for their string- pulling.

The prosecution will reportedly file for search warrants to track down the banking records of former chairman Kim and his family members.

In addition, Kim`s younger brother Hyo–geun and other henchmen like Choi will be summoned for questioning early this week to find out how and why they gave the money to Ahn and Yum on behalf of Kim. Hyo-geun and Choi have already been prohibited from traveling abroad.

In the meanwhile, Kim`s attorney Lee Jae-hwa disclosed on Saturday that the prosecution discovered last April, during its search of Kim`s house, Ahn`s business card on whose back `Received 200 million won` was written.

Thus, it is suspected that the prosecution, even after securing the hard evidence proving the bribe transactions among Kim, Ahn and Yum, put things under rug.

Defense lawyer Lee also alleges, "The prosecution has known that Choi embezzled 592 million won, but failed to prosecute him."

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com