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Prosecutors Say GNP Gathered 5.02 Billion Won From Four Companies

Prosecutors Say GNP Gathered 5.02 Billion Won From Four Companies

Posted December. 12, 2003 23:25,   


The Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office (SPPO) confirmed yesterday that the Grand National Party (GNP) collected 5.02 billion won in illegal presidential campaign funds from Samsung, LG, SK and Hyundai Motor Company last year during the presidential election.

The SPPO also received clues that large amounts of presidential funding with sources that remain unclear were deposited in seven of the GNP’s accounts. The SPPO is currently tracing the source of these funds.

The SPPO has confirmed testimony that Suh Jeong-woo, legal adviser to former GNP presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang, received 10 billion won in cash from Hyundai Motor Company as well as from Samsung and LG before the election and delivered it to the GNP.

According to the SPPO, Suh had requested support for presidential funds from Hyundai Motor Company. Last November, under the direction of vice president Kim Dong-jin, 10 billion won in cash that had been placed for safekeeping on the fourth floor of the underground Hyundai Capital Services’ main office was transferred five billion won at a time into a Starex car. Two days later, the car and key were given to Suh at a rest stop parking lot on the Kyongbu expressway.

With evidence that GNP lawmaker Choi Don-woong had transferred four billion won in cash of the 15.2 billion won that Samsung had given for presidential funds, the SPPO summoned and investigated Won, who had been an aide to Choi that day.

Lee Jae-hyun, former GNP finance bureau director, was summoned and a thorough investigation of the uses of the illegal presidential funds that Samsung, LG and Hyundai had provided through Suh was done. Whether these funds had been reported to former candidate Lee and top leaders of the GNP when transferred to the party is under investigation.

Choi had not answered the summons, and SPPO requested a warrant to arrest lawmaker Choi for violating the political funding law.

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com