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GNP Collected 82.3 Billion, Roh’s Campaign Team 11.3 Billion, of Illicit Funds

GNP Collected 82.3 Billion, Roh’s Campaign Team 11.3 Billion, of Illicit Funds

Posted March. 08, 2004 22:40,   


The prosecution reported that the total of slush funds that the Grand National Party (GNP) and then Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) had collected during the last presidential election totaled 8.232 billion won and 11.387 billion won each.

The result seems to be a subject prolific of controversy as President Roh Moo-hyun, who had been in the MDP, declared he would have resigned if his illicit fund had been over one tenth of the GNP’s.

Senior prosecutor Ahn Dai-hui, who is leading the ongoing investigation into slush funds, released interim findings.

The prosecution also revealed that it would investigate only in a roundabout way, such as tracing bank accounts, until the general elections so that the investigation would not be a political issue. It will continue searching into the four corporations of Samsung, Hyundai Motors, Dongbu, and Booyoung because the investigation was not completed.

The prosecution found that Ahn Hee-jung, who stands by President Roh’s side, had received three billion won of cash and bonds from Samsung on March and August in 2002. Ahn also received 650 million won from Lotte, 500 million won from Tae Kwang Ind., and 450 billion won from two unconfirmed corporations from April to November in 2002.

GNP took 34 billion won, 30 billion won in bonds and 4 billion won in cash, from Samsung from June 2002 to right before the presidential election. However, it gave back 13.8 billion won when the investigation into slush funds started at the beginning of last November according to the prosecution.

The GNP collected about 80 billion won in illicit funds, and used 58 billion won during the election campaign and 2.6 billion won after the election.

The prosecution said former GNP leader Lee Hoi-chang had been provided 300 million won that belonged to the slush fund from his lawyer when he had left for the U.S. in January 2003.

There was not clear evidence, however, that former candidates Lee and Roh are directly involved in collecting slush funds.

Prosecutors found that Rep. Kim Young-il of the GNP had kept one billion won bonds originally from Samsung, and cashed them last December. Kim stated, “I kept the bonds for the coming general election.”

Uri Party leader Rep. Kim One-ki, who allegedly received illicit funds from Seohai Construction, was freed from suspicion because the prosecution could not prove the allegations.

Prosecutors said they would investigate without physical restraint and minimize the extent of indictment for the corporations that had provided illicit funds during the 2002 presidential campaign.

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