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Rep. Kim Hong-il About to Be Charged

Posted June. 02, 2003 21:24,   


Yesterday the prosecution summoned Millennium Democrat Kim Hong-il, who is also son of former President Kim Dae Jung, for his involvement in the Nara Bank bribe scandal. The circumstantial evidence shows that Rep. Kim, in return for hundred of millions of bribe money he received from Nara Bank, pressured officials like former Financial Supervisory Service head Lee Yong-keun into helping the bank avoid insolvency.

The prosecution obtained the information from LG Sports advisor Chung Hak-mo, who was also examined for his role in the bribe scandal. Once the suspicion is verified, the prosecution will charge Kim officially.

The prosecution plans to issue an arrest warrant on Kim, but in consideration of Kim`s weak health, it does not exclude the possibility that it may indict him without detaining him.

According to the prosecution, Rep. Kim met, along with Chung, former Nara president Ahn Sang-tae over several occasions between 1999 to 2001. At the meetings, Ahn reportedly asked Kim to pull strings for Nara when things happened. Moreover, Ahn asked for Kim`s favor for his personal matter. He reportedly asked Kim to arrange him a CEO post at a state-run bank.

The prosecution also spotted some clues leading to Kim`s involvement in Lee`s promotion from the second position to the head of the Financial Supervisory Service in January of 2000. The prosecution also secured some evidence establishing Kim`s abuse of power through Chung.

It has also transpired that Ahn visited Chung office located then in Chomsil, Seoul, during the same period, whenever Kim was about to travel. Every time Ahn visited, he reportedly gave quite an amount of dollars to Chung in the name of Kim`s travel expense coverage.

Kim denied all the charges before the prosecution and alleged, "I received a 35-million donation from Ahn. But I did not receive a dime from him in return for illegal lobbying purposes."

The prosecution also plans to re-summon and formally charge another Millennium Democrat Park Joo-sun for his role in the bribe scandal. Tracking down on Park`s banking records, the prosecution has reportedly secured evidence that Park received unidentified hundreds of millions in addition to the 200 million that has already been identified.

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com