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Former Minister Park Ji-won Summoned and Investigated

Posted August. 19, 2003 21:38,   


Former Minister Park Ji-won Summoned and Investigated

The Central Investigation Section (chief prosecutor Ahn Dae-hee) of the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office, which is investigating the ‘15billion won+α secret fund of the Hyundai Group’, summoned and investigated the former Minister of Culture and Tourism Park Ji-won who is currently detained in the Seoul Detention House for his involvement in the ‘secrete remittance to the North.’

Prosecutors also summoned Lee Ki-ho, the former chief economic advisor to the President, and asked whether the former Minster Park asked for favor after receiving funds from the Hyundai Group. It is also considering about confronting him with the former Minster Park.

Prosecutors concentrated the inquiry on the former Minster Park whether he had requested the Hyundai Group to pay 15billion won to prepare for the North-South Summit in mid April, 2000 and received it in cash from weapons trafficker Kim Young-wan (who leaves overseas). After tracing the account that held 15billion won, which is likely to be given to Mr. Park, the prosecutors found out that some of the money flowed into the political sector around the General Election in April 2000, and it is now tracing the detailed route of the money. It was also revealed that, prior to this, the prosecutors had secured some testimonies from the late chairman of Hyundai Asan Group, Chung Mong-hun, during their second and third interrogation, that he said, “Fifteen billion won, which was prepared by Hyundai Construction, was given to the former Minister Park.”

The late chairman Chung is also known to have testified, “After handing over the fund, Kim Young-wan told me when we met at the lobby of H hotel in Seoul that ‘Minister Park said thank you. He also said that he will put some efforts to set up duty-free shops at the Casino in Mount Geumgang’.” The former Minister Park, however, is known to be repeating his stance that he “never received 15billion won from Hyundai with any cause.” Prosecutors will further indict the former Minister Park with taking bribes when his charges are confirmed.

Wi-Yong Jung Jin-Young Hwang viyonz@donga.com buddy@donga.com