Go to contents

Prosecution Seeks Arrest Warrant for Chyung Dai-Chul

Posted July. 18, 2003 22:06,   


The Seoul District Prosecutor’s Office investigating the bribery scandal over Goodmorning City, a real estate development company, sought an arrest warrant Friday for Chyung Dai-chul, the chairman of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party. Chyung has thus far refused to comply with three summonses on charges of receiving bribes. The prosecution also banned the chairman from going abroad.

The prosecution said Chairman Chyung received more than 200 million won in return for providing business favors to Goodmorining City, such as permission to build the shopping mall, out of the total of 420 million won given to Chyung by the president of the company, Yun Chang-yeol, from 2001 to 2002. An official in the Prosecutor`s Office said that Chairman Chyung appears to have received the money in exchange for wielding his influence over related public servants.

In an unusual move, the prosecution distributed a document entitled, “The Prosecution`s Opinion on the Investigation into the Goodmorning City Scandal,” on Friday. In it, the prosecution states that considering Chairman Chyung`s status as a lawmaker, the prosecution tried to maintain secrecy regarding the investigation and to respect Chyung`s special status in the process of summoning him. Chairman Chyung, however, made it clear that he had no intention of answering the summons and, thus, the prosecution had no choice but to follow procedures for dealing with criminal cases, according to the report.

The prosecution argued that the chairman`s grounds for refusing to abide by the three summonses were unpersuasive. The chairman cited as reasons for not appearing at the prosecution the need to settle pending issues involving his party. The prosecution, however, said that it cannot investigate an assemblyman beyond the day a summons is served without the National Assembly`s consent. The prosecution explained that it sought an arrest warrant for Chairman Chyung after securing sufficient evidence supporting the charges against him, despite his failure to appear in response to a summons.

As the prosecution sought an arrest warrant, the court will send a letter to the Ministry of Justice seeking approval for the arrest. The ministry will, in turn, forward the letter to the National Assembly.

If majority of lawmakers present agrees to the arrest, Chairman Chyung`s arrest will be approved. If a majority does not agree, the court must decline to approve the arrest warrant. However, if the National Assembly is not in session, the court can skip this procedure and issue the arrest warrant.

The prosecution arrested Yun Chang-yeol, president of Goodmorning City, on Friday for embezzlement of 3.5 billion won of his company’s assets and causing losses to investors. The prosecution also arrested a former public official at Jung-Gu District Office in Seoul for receiving 325 million won from Yun Chang-Yeol over 16 occasions in return for asking a public official at district office to grant special treatment to Yun in approving the construction of the shopping mall.

Meanwhile, the association of investors in the shopping mall construction project have vowed to submit documents alleging that some 20 National Assemblymen of both the ruling and opposition parties were lobbied by Goodmorning City. The prosecution is using these documents in its investigation.

In response to the prosecution`s latest move, Chairman Chyung said he would present himself before the prosecution within this month. Former Assemblyman Yu Seon-ho, one of the lawyers for Chairman Chyung, said that his client expressed his willingness to appear before the prosecution and explain fully about the political fund issue after completing the establishment of a new political party within this month. Former lawmaker Yu said, in a document prepared by Chyung`s legal team that the chairman asked the prosecution to delay the summons on the grounds of the aforementioned situation. Yu complained that by seeking an arrest warrant for the chairman, the prosecution was trying to create an image to the public that Chyung is trying to hamper the investigation.