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Former Lawmaker and Former NSA Official Come Clean of Embezzlement Charges

Former Lawmaker and Former NSA Official Come Clean of Embezzlement Charges

Posted July. 05, 2004 22:25,   


As the appeals court rejected all embezzlement charges, claiming that the conversion of parts of the budget of the Agency for National Security Planning into campaign funds for the presidential and local government elections in a case known as the NSA tempest, it in effect indicated that the slush funds came from former President Kim Young-sam’s secret coffers.

The 7th criminal division of the Seoul high court overturned a lower court’s ruling and acquitted Kang Sam-jae, a former lawmaker of the Grand National Party, and Kim Ki-sop, the former NSA operational director, of charges of embezzlement of NSA budgets.

The court only ordered Kang to pay 10 million won in fines as it found 167 million won of the 200 million won he gave to a financial institution worker for laundering money in breach of the law.

“Although it is a fact that Kim has 119 billion won issued in state checks, it is highly likely that some of the monies could have flowed from outside,” the ruling reads. “It is highly unlikely that Kim has embezzled the NSA’s funds and wrought havoc on national coffers.”

“Since the charges against Kim do not constitute embezzlement, the charges against Kang, which were preconditioned by Kim’s, do not constitute a crime.”

“A review of a total of 2,092 accounts managed by the NSS turned up a 15 billion won increase in 1994 and a 64.2 billion won decrease in 1995. However, in 1993, the outstanding balance went up to 129.3 billion won in 1993,” the court said. “The increase cannot be seen as interest. The prosecution’s allegations that no other deposits were made to the accounts do not stand.”

“When Kim said he has given all the money to Kang, he did so out of fears that the former president’s involvement [in the case] may have been disclosed,” the court said, effectively confirming the veracity of Kang’s allegations of former president Kim as the owner of the slush funds. The prosecution said it would appeal, citing what has been said is a number of errors in the ruling.

Ji-Seong Jeon verso@donga.com