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Oil Field Data Intentionally Destroyed

Posted April. 21, 2005 23:21,   


On April 21, the Seoul District Public Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Department III (director: Hong Man-pyo), currently investigating the suspicious practices involving the Korean National Railroad’s (currently Korea Railroad) investment in Russia’s oil development, announced that a fair amount of related data confiscated from the Korea Railroad and the Promotion Foundation for Train Transportation have been found to be intentionally damaged and presently undergoing restoration.

A source in the prosecutors’ office said, “It was confirmed that among the data in 26,000 floppy disks secured across two searches of Korea Railroad etc., quite a portion had been deleted” and added, “Presently such institutions as the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office are restoring the files with the help of 14 computer experts.”

Prosecutors, believing that those related to Korea Railroad or the Railroad Foundation had attempted to conceal evidence after the affair was publicized, are searching for evidence of instructions from superiors. The same source explained that a substantial amount of the confiscated data was obtained from the Special Project Division of the Korea Railroad Investment and Development Headquarters, whose director is Wang Young-yong, director general of the Railroad Foundation and the person who lead Korea’s participation in the oil development project.

However the prosecutors have finished the investigation of the primary proposer of the oil development business, Gwon Gwang-jin, CEO of Kook Energy, and let Mr. Gwon return home at dawn on April 21. Mr. Gwon, who has asserted that Uri Party Rep. Lee Gwang-jae was involved, did not have any comments on this issue on his way home.

After the prosecutors finish analyzing the data and investigating witnesses such as workers in related agencies this week, they will begin summoning core related persons for investigation by next week at the earliest, including Vice Minister of Construction and Transportation Kim Se-ho (administrator of the Korean National Railroad at the time), President of Korea Railroad Shin Gwang-soon (vice-administrator of the Korean National Railroad at the time), and Director Wang.