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Prosecutors Consider Punishing Hong For 200 Million Won Transfer

Prosecutors Consider Punishing Hong For 200 Million Won Transfer

Posted December. 08, 2003 22:49,   


The central investigation team of the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office (chief prosecutor Ahn Dae-hee) on December 8 summoned Hong Gi-hoon, the chairman of a pharmaceutical company who is suspected of transferring 200 million won from the “Sun & Moon slush fund” to Suh Chung-won, former chairman of Grand National Party (GNP). Hong is being questioned by prosecutors.

The prosecutors asked Hong whether he transferred 200 million won in cash from the chauffeur of Kim Sung-rae, the former vice chairwoman of Sun & Moon who is currently in custody, to former chairman Suh in the presidential campaign last year.

Because they are relatively confident that Hong made the transfer, prosecutors are examining whether to punish him for the violation of Political Funds Law.

However, Hong strongly denied the charge, saying “I have neither received 200 million from Sun & Moon nor transferred the money to former chairman Suh.”

Prosecutors also plan to summon Lee Kwang-jae, who was formerly in charge of briefing the president on state affairs, to investigate suspicions that he received 100 million won from the Sun & Moon slush fund.

The prosecutors will ask Lee whether he received the money from Sun & Moon and delivered it to Roh Moo-hyun’s campaign camp last year.

The prosecutors had planned to summon Sun Bong-sul, former CEO of Jangsoochun Co. and a close friend of President Roh, the same morning. However Sun demanded a postponement and the inquiry was delayed until December 9. The prosecutors plan to file criminal charges against Sun if they find that he received funds from Kang Keum-won, the CEO of Changshin Textile Co., in exchange for compensation.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com