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Investigation on the “Nara Scandal”

Posted May. 18, 2003 22:09,   


While reinvestigating the Nara Merchant Bank`s lobbying scandal, the special prosecutors` team announced yesterday that they uncovered the scandal, in which Park Ju-seon, a ruling party representative received some good amount of bribes from Nara Merchant Bank between the late-1999 and the early-2000, when he served as a presidential secretary for legal affairs.

The prosecution discovered that the Rep. Park met several times with former president of Nara, Ahn Sang-tae, before Park got imprisoned in December 1999 for his implication with the “fur scandal”. After being released on bail a month later, Park, before his resignation, reportedly took the illegal fund from Nara.

Planning to question Park on May 20, the prosecution is considering accusation of Park against bribery charges and application of an aggravated assault law, thereby penalizing the corrupt former representative.

The prosecution also plans to quiz Pak on whether he pressured the leadership in the prosecutors` office at an initial stage of the investigation for closing the case.

Park`s side, however, strongly denied the connection with the Nara scandal and claimed that Park did not receive money from the investment bank.

While uncovering the fact that Representative Kim Hong-il of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) accepted hundred million won from the former Nara head, excluding 35 million won (25,000 USD) in a form of donation, Prosecutors are under consideration upon calling the former president Kim Dae-jung`s son before the court on May 22 at the earliest.

Kim`s side, through contacts with media, retorted the allegations against him, saying that, “Kim once received a donation from Nara`s former head Ahn and issued a receipt, but had never met or telephoned anyone relating to the Nara (lobbying scandal).”

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com