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Illegal Funds Hearing to Take Place from February 10 until 12

Illegal Funds Hearing to Take Place from February 10 until 12

Posted February. 02, 2004 22:33,   


With the upcoming general election in 60 days, a hearing by the National Assembly on the illegal presidential election funds and President Roh Moo-hyun’s corruption scandals will be held, forecasting a more intensified divulgence from the ruling and opposite parties.

The National Assembly’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee held a plenary session yesterday, and nine out of the 12 committee members approved, two opposed, and one abstained, passing the bill to hold a hearing. Excluding Kim Ki-choon (General National Party: GNP), chairman of the committee, committee members from the GNP and Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) all approved of the hearing, and two Uri Party members opposed.

The hearing will be held from February 10~12, and the objective organizations have been decided to consist of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, Financial Supervisory Service, and National Tax Service. The possibility of President Roh receiving five billion won from D enterprise during his candidacy in 2002, the one trillion won in funds raised by security dealers all from a certain B high school and their 200 billion won in marginal profits, Hanwha Group’s 25 billion won to President Roh as a congratulatory gift for winning the election, and Min Kyung-chan, the brother-in-law of President Roh’s elder brother Roh Gon-pyeong, and his illegal fund raising of 65 billion won are expected to be investigated.

The Legislation and Judiciary Committee has agreed to exclude the matters currently under investigation by prosecutors.

GNP and MDP are planning to select 100 people, including Ahn Hee-jung, head of the secretarial administrative team during President Roh’s candidate years, Lee Kwang-jae, former Cheong Wa Dae official, Choi Do-sul, former presidential secretary, Moon Byung-uk, chairman of the Sun & Moon Group, and Min Kyung-chan, as testifiers and references for the hearing.

Uri Party is insisting that former GNP leader Lee Hoi-chang and his legal adviser, lawyer Seo Jeong-woo, should be included as witnesses, and whether or not a compromise may take place is in interest.

The Legislation and Judiciary Committee has independently decided on whether or not this hearing should be held, its schedule, and the targets for investigation, which is somewhat different in character from the parliamentary investigation hearings conducted after receiving approval from the plenary session of the National Assembly.

Ahn Dae-hee, senior prosecutor at the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, said, “To hold a hearing on matters currently under investigation is against the law and principle,” giving his personal opinion and showing his regrets.

Supreme Public Prosecutor General Song Kwang-soo showed his dissatisfaction amicably, saying, “The prosecutors are doing their best on the investigation of illegal political funds. Since a hearing is planned on these investigations, I have nothing special more to say about this matter.”

yongari@donga.com gun43@donga.com