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Prosecutors Consider Seeking an Advance Arrest Warrant for Rep. Suh Chung-won over Illegal Fundraising

Prosecutors Consider Seeking an Advance Arrest Warrant for Rep. Suh Chung-won over Illegal Fundraising

Posted January. 26, 2004 23:16,   


The Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is conducting investigations into the illegal fundraising cases during the 2002 presidential campaign, said on Monday it is reviewing to seek an advance arrest warrant for Rep. Suh Chung-won of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) on charges of taking bribes.

Suh is accused of receiving one billion won in bonds from Hanwha Group, the nation’s seventh-largest conglomerate, in October 2002 and giving it to his son-in-law, according to the prosecution.

Prosecutors suspect Suh received the bonds from Kim Seung-youn, the head of Hanwha Group, in October 2002 after confirming Suh and Kim met at a hotel in Seoul at the time.

Prosecutors are also investigating into the claims that Suh was disclosed information about illegal political funds by Suh’s fellow lawmaker Kim Young-il during the 2002 presidential campaign period.

Rep. Suh maintains, however, that he never accepted illegal donations from Hanwha Group. Suh claims that the prosecutors are making the case to fit into their predetermined conclusions that he received the illegal donations (certificates of deposit). He argues his relatives in China, in fact, bought the certificates of deposit in the private money market and sold it two months later.

“This is one of the hardships that lie ahead before a lost general,” Suh told reporters as he arrived at the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office for questioning.

Prosecutors also called in Lee Jae-joung, a former lawmaker of the pro-government Uri Party, for questioning over allegations that he received one billion won in certificates of deposit from Hanwha Group and additional funds later. Prosecutors also consider seeking an advance arrest warrant for Lee.

Prosecutors also plan to summon Rep. Park Sang-kyu of the GNP and Rep. Park Byung-yoon of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) on Thursday for allegedly taking illegal political donations during the 2002 presidential campaign.

Rep. Park Sang-kyu served as chief of election campaign for MDP before he left the party in November 2002, and Rep. Park Byung-yoon was an acting chief of the election campaign for the MDP after Rep. Park Sang-kyu left the party.

Both lawmakers will be questioned for claims that they allegedly took illegal funds from conglomerates and a possible appropriation of the money. They could suffer criminal punishment if any of the accusations are proven.

Wi-Yong Jung Tae-Hoon Lee viyonz@donga.com jefflee@donga.com