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Kang Keum-won Faces Departure Ban

Posted November. 16, 2003 22:50,   


The Central Investigation Department of the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office issued a departure ban to Kang Keum-won, chairman of Changshin Textile yesterday, after revealing that Kang, President Roh’s strong supporter, had given 950 million won to Seon Bong-sul, Roh’s old friend and the former president of Jangsoocheon. Kang, summoned on Saturday, admitted his offering of 950 million won to Seon Bong-sul. He added that Seon paid back 450 million won in February of this year.

When the prosecution confirms that the money which Kang delivered to Seon was spent as illegal campaign funds for President Roh, Kang will be arrested on the charge of violating the Political Funds Act, the prosecution said. Furthermore, it is investigating on why and how two billion won that Kang offered to the Millennium Democratic Party before the presidential election was returned to Kang.

In addition, after confirming that a portion of the 450 million won that Seon paid back to Kang was collected through illegal corporate fundraising, the prosecution issued a departure ban to Seon as well. If Seon is proved to have received funds from companies in return for favors, the prosecution will issue an arrest warrant to Seon.

The prosecution is also slated to summon Kim Sung-chul, the president of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Busan branch, to investigate suspicions that Kim furnished hundreds of millions in funds to Choi Do-sul, the former presidential secretary.

While coming out from the prosecution building yesterday, Kang said, “Last November and December, I withdrew 450 million won from a personal account managed by my company and lent it to Seon in four separate payments: respectively, 200 million won, 100 million won, 350 million won, and 300 million won,” and added, “It is just to help lighten Jangsoocheon’s liability and has nothing to do with securing any favors.”

Responding to the question, “Is there any relation between Roh’s separation from the MDP and the different amounts of funds, which was raised for last year’s MDP presidential campaign, in the books and in reality?” Kang answered, “President Roh was anxious about that problem. Even though, Roh said nothing about it, I think it has something to do with his withdrawal.”

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com