Go to contents

Choi Don-woong, Park Jae-wook Arrested and Imprisoned

Posted January. 12, 2004 23:16,   


The Central Investigation Department of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating illegal fund-raising for the presidential election, arrested Choi Don-woong, a lawmaker from the Grand National Party, and charged him with cooperating to receive illegal contributions, totaling 40 billion won or more, from a number of conglomerates including Samsung. He was imprisoned on January 12.

Choi, for whom an arrest warrant was previously issued, appeared in the prosecutor’s office and waived the right to request a judge’s examination into the propriety of his arrest.

Another lawyer from the Grand National Party, Park Jae-wook, for whom an arrest warrant was previously issued on charges of embezzling 10.7 billion won of public money from a university, was also arrested and imprisoned by the district public prosecutor’s office in Daegu on the same day.

An arrest warrant was issued for Park suspecting him of embezzling money from a university in Gyeongbuk that he had managed from 1996 to October 2002. A judge examined the propriety of his arrest in a district public prosecutor’s office in Daegu on this day.

On the same day, the Central Investigation Department began an investigation after being given materials from the Seoul district public prosecutor’s office that contained clues that might link Daewoo Engineering & Construction and other enterprises to illegal funds offered to politicians. The prosecutor’s office was aware that Chyung Dai-chul from the Uri Party, the chairman of the Roh Moo-hyun camp’s election polling committee at the time of the presidential election in 2002, received a large amount of illegal funding from NuboKorea, Hitech-housing, and three or four other enterprises.

The prosecutor will summon Lee Hak-soo and Kang Yoo-sik, executives from Samsung and LG, respectively, after the lunar New Year’s holiday to decide the degree of their punishment.

The prosecutor’s office revealed that they have confirmed, through account tracking, that a part of the 600 million won Ahn Hee-jeong received was delivered as “congratulatory money on election”, but that they were having difficulty investigating further since Ahn did not reveal the source of the money by using his right to remain silent.

The prosecutor’s office is also examining the possibility that bonds were used for personal purposes because four billion won of the 15.2 billion that Samsung delivered to the Grand National Party was deposited into the party’s account while the rest of the 11.2 billion was not.

In addition, the prosecutor will confirm the fact that the Chairman of SK, Son Gil-sung, who was arrested on the charge of misappropriating more than 1,000 billion won from SK, made three borrowed-name accounts under the name of Choi Tae-won, the Chairman of SK Corporation, in order to invest in futures. After summoning and investigating Choi sometime this weekend, it will decide on the degree of his criminal punishment.

jefflee@donga.com cavatina@donga.com