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Prior Warrant Requested for Rep. Choi Don-woong

Posted December. 23, 2003 22:58,   


The Central Investigation Bureau at the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office requested a prior warrant for Rep. Choi Don-woong of the GNP on December 23 on charges of involvement in the process of raising illegal presidential campaign funds.

According to the prosecution, Rep. Choi is suspected of direct or indirect involvement in the collection of tens of billions of won in illicit presidential election funds from conglomerates including Samsung, LG and SK.

Meanwhile, Choi Do-sul, the former close aide to President Roh, arrested and prosecuted for accepting 1.1 billion won from SK, stated at the first trial in district court in Seoul today, “I provided Sun Bong-sul, the president of Jangsuchun Inc. and a hometown friend of President Roh, with 500 million won.”

It is already known that former aide Choi had provided Mr. Sun with 340 million won in illegal funds from SK in the name of repaying Jangsuchun’s debts.

He also said at the trial today, “I received 50 million won from Mr. Sun for the rest of presidential funds at the end of January of 2003 and paid them on account under a fake name.”

Additionally, Mr. Choi insisted, “I only received an envelope containing 11 certificates of deposit (CD) worth 100 million won apiece from SK chairman Sohn Kil-seung at the request of Lee Young-no, a high school associate of President Roh, and provided it to Lee. I did not know that the envelope contained the CD at all.”

The prosecution interrogated Mr. Choi, asking, “Didn’t you accept 110 million won in illegal funds that Mr. Lee had raised from Busan local corporations before Election Day?” But Mr. Choi denied this, saying, “I do not remember it.” The prosecution plans to include a charge of accepting 110 million won when further prosecuting Mr. Choi on or about December 29.

“I accepted and used a total of 300 million won from Mr. Lee in the name of political funds from 4.13 general election day of 2002 through the presidential Election Day. I did not give receipts for 60 percent of this,” stated Choi. This implies that more than half of the political funds that Choi accepted from Lee were illegal. Hence whether or not President Roh was involved too is to be seen.

Consequently the prosecution probed in depth in questioning Mr. Choi, asking, “Didn’t you plot to hold Mr. Lee fully responsible when consulting on countermeasures against the investigation with Mr. Lee from September 8 to 10?” but Mr. Choi denied this.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com