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Charges of Receiving Some Hundreds of Millions of Won from Lotte after Presidential Election

Charges of Receiving Some Hundreds of Millions of Won from Lotte after Presidential Election

Posted March. 02, 2004 23:04,   


Yeo Taek-soo, a Cheong Wa Dae official, was summoned Monday to the prosecution on charges of receiving hundreds of millions of won as illicit funds from Lotte Group last year.

“While investigating Lotte’s allegation of providing illegal presidential election funds, we gained some clues to Yeo’s pocketing of money,” said the Central Investigation Department at the Supreme Public Prosecutor`s Office, led by chief prosecutor Ahn Dae-hee. “We are interrogating Yeo on how he received the money and where he used it.”

The prosecution will seek an arrest warrant for Yeo on allegations that he pocketed illicit money during the 2002 election race if he is proved guilty.

Yeo already underwent the prosecution’s investigation before on charges of pocketing 30 million won from Moon Byung-uk, the president of Sun & Moon Group, who is now detained, while working for President Roh in December 2002 during the last presidential election campaign.

The prosecution also said that it did not have any clues regarding illegal fundraising of Lee Hoi-chang, the former leader of the Grand National Party, and did not have plans to summon him before the upcoming general elections.

Prosecutors said that they had no plans of summoning or actively investigating staffs at the local offices of each party about where they used election funds.

“We will not deal with irrelevant cases to the current investigations or relatively minor cases before the general election,” said Prosecutor Ahn.

Prosecutors also will decide after the general elections whether to inspect 11 lawmakers who are suspected of receiving money in return for entry into the GNP.

The prosecution will officially release the progress of ongoing investigations on illegal presidential election funds this coming Sunday, two days later than the original schedule.

The prosecution is deferring making decisions about whether to re-confine GNP’s Suh Chung-won and to investigate Rhee In-je of the United Liberal Democrats after the provisional resumption of the National Assembly. Suh was released after the Assembly passed a resolution calling for the release of the former opposition leader on February 9. The prosecution sought an arrest warrant for former presidential candidate Rep. Rhee In-je on allegations that he received 250 million won illegally from the GNP.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com