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5 billion Won Withdrawn from Lee`s Account before the Presidential Election

5 billion Won Withdrawn from Lee`s Account before the Presidential Election

Posted August. 28, 2003 22:17,   


Lee Won-ho(50), who had been arrested for treating President Roh`s personal aid Yang Gil-seung to a drinking binge at his night club in Cheongju, was found to have withdrawn about 5 billion won from his bank account in October and November last year.

Another 321.9 million won and 340 million won were also found to be withdrawn from his wife and his acquaintance` accounts respectively on April 11 and June 27 just prior to Yang`s two visits to Cheongju (April 17 and June 28).

In particular, the question where the money was spent is gaining much attention as 395 billion won and 270 billion won proved to be drawn out from the same accounts again on July 10 and 11 when the investigation into extortion instigation charge against Lee was virtually ended,

It has been known that the North Chungcheong Provincial Policy Agency found the facts in the course of investigation into Lee led by former prosecutor Kim Do-hun (now arrested) in June and July and reported the records to the prosecution on August 13. Back that time, the police extensively tracked Lee`s accounts relating to tax evasion and violation of ban on prostitution charges against Lee.

The prosecution is now trying to find out whether the money was used as political fund, offered to Yang pleading the end for the investigation into Lee or spent for other purposes.

The police said huge sums of money running into billions of won in total were frequently taken out from bank accounts related to Lee from September to July. A question was raised if the massive amount money was legally used.

Lee borrowed 3.8 billion won from K bank in October 11 under the name of his wife. The investigators said, “K bank`s lending clerk admitted that Lee took out 3.8 billion won in loan on a security to finance the construction of his K night club.

But out of the loan, a total of 2.382 billion won was withdrawn in cash that day on three occasions by 1.9 billion won, 450 million won and 32 million won each time.

One billion won and 100 million won in cash was again taken out from the bank account of Lee`s wife October 17 and 18. The amount of money withdrawn from her account is about 5 billion won in the two months periods.

On April 11, prior to Yang’s visit to Choengju, 237 million won and 82 million won, which is 319 million won in total, were withdrawn from K nigh club`s nominal president Yoo and Lee`s wife`s accounts respectively. On April 17, when Yang stayed in Choengju, 150 million won was drawn out from Yoo`s account on two occasions.

The police called in Lee`s wife on August 13 to ask where the money was spent. She is known to say that she does not know anything, since she was not directly involved in the nightclub business.

Regarding this, Lee’s lawyer argued, “Lee has never provided political fund.”

Meanwhile, much attention is paid to whether the special prosecution team had known the results of the account tracking, if so, whether it had found where the money had been spent, since the prosecutors had investigated whether some prosecutors had secretly supported Lee during his investigation.

The prosecution team would be harshly criticized if they should be found not to discover how the money was spent or to cover the usage although it had known it.

The prosecution team announced August 21, “We tracked the accounts of Lee and his acquaintances but found no money transactions between him and prosecutors. There is no ground for the argument that some prosecutors had secretly supported Lee.”

In relation to former prosecutor Kim`s investigation report that indicates that Lee Won-ho had given political fund of 300 million won to the Millennium Democratic Party, the prosecution said, “Kim submitted such a record to the Choengju Provincial Police Agency. But these is no indication at all that shows Kim had investigated the claim through measures such as bank accounting tracking.”