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The Prosecution: We Plan to Investigate into Allegations Regarding Kim

The Prosecution: We Plan to Investigate into Allegations Regarding Kim

Posted June. 15, 2005 04:23,   


The Central Investigation Department of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office (chief prosecutor: Park Young-su) (CIDSPPO) said on June 14 that it will investigate into allegations whether former Daewoo Group chairman Kim Woo-jung (69) had created slush funds and tried to bribe politicians and officials.

Min Yu-tae, an investigative planning officer of the CIDSPPO, said, “We plan to investigate Kim for 50 days.” He added, “After investigating into some suspicions that were revealed in the investigation of the Daewoo Group in 2001, including its window dressing, for 20 days before indicting him, we will investigate into the British Finance Center (BFC), which was established as a secret finance organization located in London by the Daewoo Group.”

He added, “We have some information to inquiry into Kim’s slush funds.” However, he added, “I’m not sure that Kim will reveal all of these things surrounding him.”

In 2001 when it investigated the Daewoo Group, the prosecution did not exactly confirm where the $20 billion (approximately 25 trillion won based on then-exchange rate) that the BFC had raised through some organizations including Daewoo’s overseas corporations had been used. At that time, there were some opinions within the political and economic circles that some of this money was used as a lobbying fund in order to prevent Daewoo Group from dissolving.

The prosecution plans to issue an arrest warrant for Kim on the night of June 15 or at the dawn of June 16.

Once the arrest warrant for the Kim is issued, he is scheduled to be confined in a single person room barely larger than one pyeong in size and located in the hospital building of the Detention House in Seoul. The elderly over 70 years old and patients are put in the hospital building and doctors are stationed there around-the-clock.

Kim returned to South Korea at 5:25 a.m. on the same day through Incheon International Airport via Asiana Flight 734 after five years and eight months on the run. Kim, who was taken to the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office (SPPO) after an arrest warrant was executed, revealed his position, saying, “I came back in order to take responsibility for what happened to the Daewoo Group.” Then, he was investigated by the prosecution on the 11th floor of the SPPO.

Regarding the reason behind his fleeing overseas, Kim stated, “I fled overseas due to the creditors committee and the Daewoo’s staff’s suggestion.”

Keuk-In Bae Joong-Hyun Park bae2150@donga.com sanjuck@donga.com