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No Leadership Left In This Regime or Assembly

Posted February. 10, 2004 22:37,   


Kim Seong-rae, former vice president of the Sun & Moon Group, said at the public hearing about illicit campaign funds held by the Legislation and Judiciary Committee of the assembly that “I saw Moon Byung-wook, president of the Sun & Moon Group, hand two bundles [of cash] to then-presidential candidate Roh right before the election.

“President Moon brought a shopping bag with two bundles of cash in it to Roh’s hotel room in Gimhae on December 7, 2002. Roh received the bundles and handed them to his secretary next to him,” said Kim, adding, “I think the bundles would amount 50 million one each and 100 million won all together (judging from how big each bundle was).”

However, Moon had testified that he had given 30 million won to Roh’s attending secretary at the time, Yeo Taek-soo. The different testimony is likely to fuel further controversy over who gave the money and how much was received.

Kim also said, regarding the political favor that the Sun & Moon Group asked for, a tax break of 4.8 billion won, that “I heard from President Moon that Roh made a phone call to the national tax service head at the time, Sohn Young-rae, right after the candidate election of the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP).”

However, Sohn strongly refuted the remark, saying, “I have never received a phone call from Roh at that time. I can bet my conscience on it.”

Meanwhile, seven of the main witnesses were not present at the hearing, including Min Kyung-chan, Roh’s in-law, and Lee Young-ro, a high school colleague of Roh, and a number of Uri Party representatives who refused to attend the hearing.

The Committee concluded that it would hold another public hearing to question the policy headquarters regarding the Min Fund scandal at 10:00 a.m. on February 20 at National Police Headquarters.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com