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Forecast on Continuous Summons of Conglomerate Executives

Forecast on Continuous Summons of Conglomerate Executives

Posted November. 23, 2003 23:08,   


As the prosecution is slated to summon conglomerate executives, politicians, and presidents in their investigation of illegal fund-raising cases soon, this week is expected to be a turning point of the investigation.

While the prosecution has been cautiously dealing with this case, starting from this week, it plans to accelerate the speed and intensity of the investigation, with an aim to obtaining an outlook of this scandal.

Moon Hyo-nam, chief investigation planner at the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, said yesterday that the investigation will focus on corporate sectors first. Accordingly, it is very likely that the executives of conglomerates and related officers will be summoned within this week. Throughout the investigation, as the summoned high-ranking officers of suspected companies kept saying, “I don’t know but my boss might know,” the prosecution has no choice but to summon their bosses as the last resort.

Under such circumstances, it is prevailing that LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo will be summoned first. Koo is currently under a departure ban due to his suspected involvement in the illegal fund-raising scandal. Also, Kumho Chairman Park Sam-koo, who was questioned last week, will be summoned again and Hanjin Chairman Cho Yang-ho will also follow suit. The president of Korean Air Co., an affiliate of Hanjin Group, was questioned last week.

The prosecution also plans to increase its search for seizures, targeting corporate sectors and thus resuming investigations on three or four conglomerates for seizures, which had been delayed since last week when LG e-shop’s stock fell after the prosecution’s seeking search warrant,

Moon, the chief investigation planner, said, “The speed and intensity of investigation depends on the companies’ attitude for questioning and the evidence we secure.” His remarks reflect a high flexibility in the investigation and the strong determination of the prosecution.

In addition, the investigation on politicians is also expected to strengthen. In fact, the investigation of the illegal bank accounts, which was allegedly used for the management of campaign funds raised by companies, will be reinforced.

Also, confirming the material regarding donations, which had been presented by the Grand National Party and had some portions omitted, the prosecution will soon summon Rep. Na Oh-yun, the former head of the Aide Association of Party’s headquarter. Furthermore, the prosecution will summon Rep. Chyung Dai-chul, who received 500 million won from Hanjin Group as donation, and investigate suspicions on his illegal use of the money.

Regarding the investigation on the corruption scandal involving president’s aides, the prosecution is slated to summon Seon Bong-sul, Roh’s old friend and the former president of Jangsoocheon, and Kang Keum-won, chairman of Changshin Textile and Roh’s longtime supporter, to determine whether there were anything illicit and special favors they were promised when they handed the funds.

In particular, the prosecution is accelerating the investigation on suspicious funds trading involving Moon Byung-wook, the chairman of Sun And Moon Group and President Roh’s high school friend, which is expected to be a turning point in the investigation on the corruption scandal involving the president’s aides. Meanwhile, the opposition party has pointed Moon as a suspect for the special probe.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com