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Controversy over Authenticity of Korean Railroad Documents

Controversy over Authenticity of Korean Railroad Documents

Posted April. 15, 2005 23:20,   


Assigned the case regarding Korean Railroad’s alleged investment in a Russian oil development project, the Special Investigation Department III (chief prosecutor, Goh Kun-ho) of the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutor`s Office received Korean Railroad’s internal files on April 5 stating that government organs such as the National Intelligence Service knew about this beforehand, and is investigating the authenticity of the documents.

These documents, apparently prepared last July or August when the project was in an early stage, contain information that the Diplomatic Security Committee within Cheong Wa Dae is supervising the oil development project, that there has been unofficial consent from the National Intelligence Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, and the Ministry of Unification, and also that official deliberations on this matter will take place after a policy hearing.

The documents also contain allegations that the Russian and South Korean governments were expected to hold a signing ceremony regarding the overtaking of the oil company during President Roh Moo-hyun’s visit to Russia last September, and that the Uri Party’s Lee Kwang-jae was put in charge of the guest list.

A Korean Railroad official said, “The documents in question have not been approved or shared. They have been prepared by Wang Young-yong, head of Development Headquarters at Korean Railroad in the form of a memorandum after hearing the words of Huh Mun-seok, CEO of Korea Crude Oil.”

However he questioned the credibility of the documents, asserting, “There is no Diplomatic Security Committee in Cheong Wa Dae, and the date of the President’s visit to Russia is wrong.”

The Prosecutor’s Office received approximately 750 pages of audit documents from the Board of Audit and Inspection at 6:00 p.m. on April 14 and is analyzing them to sort out financial institutions and individuals to track their accounts.

For a fast and thorough investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office is planning to assign one additional prosecutor and investigator to work on the tracking of accounts, in addition to the four prosecutors already working on the case at the Special Investigation Department III.

Jin-Young Hwang buddy@donga.com