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Court Acquits Kwon Roh-kap of Bribery Charge

Posted July. 02, 2003 21:33,   


The appeals court found former Millennium Democrat advisor Kwon Roh-kap not guilty of the bribery charge. Kwon had been charged of receiving 50 million from Jin Seung-hyun. It is alleged that former National Intelligence associate director Kim Eun-sung handed over the money to Kwon on behalf of Jin and, in return, Kwon promised to pressure the Financial Supervisory Service to give up its investigation of a scandal involving Jin.

The Criminal Appeals Division 8 of the Seoul District Court held yesterday, "The court found no other evidence than the statements of Kwon`s co-defendants Jin and Kim to establish the guilt of Kwon and the evidence can not be reliable. Therefore, this court reaches a conclusion that it is difficult to see the defendant received the money." "Considering many circumstances," the court also ruled, "it is difficult to judge that Kwon received the money in return for his particular favor."

"Defendant Kim changed his statement over several occasions. In addition, at that time, Defendant Kim was not on good terms with Choi Gyu-sun. Therefore, it is unreasonable that Kim did something for Jin`s favor," said the court.

The court added, "Jin said he visited Kwon`s mansion and left a bag full of money. Upon reviewing the exhibits, the court has noticed that Jun`s description of Kwon`s mansion was inaccurate in many parts. Thus, this court does not believe that the money was handed over at all." After the verdict, Kwon said, "It`s the victory of the justice."

On rendering of the ruling, the Prosecution Office said, "We will review the opinion and determine whether to appeal from the decision."

Kwon was indicated without bail May 2002 for taking 50 million won from Jin in return for pressuring the Financial Supervisory Service into ceasing its investigation of the companies owned by Jin. The trial court had found him guilty and sentenced him to one year in prison before he was released on probation August 2002.

Jin-Kyun Kil leon@donga.com