Posted August. 12, 2005 03:04,
The prosecution concluded that the recent Korea Highway Corporations Haengdam island development scandal took place as a result of non-professionalism and overdue enthusiasm of figures related to Cheong Wa Dae.
In order to help just one businessman who is as shrewd as Bongeui Kim Seon-dal (who is historically famous for incredible business talent), figures in Cheong Wa Dae, the Korea Highway Corporation (KHC), and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) were deeply involved in the project and even flexed their muscles for undue causes.
As the prosecutions investigation revealed their charges on this project, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) which had excluded them in its questioning over the project because, it argued, investigation on them went against the principle of law, seems to be stuck in trouble again.
The prosecution said, If people took certain actions despite the lack of experience in the concerned field without considering the consequent effects and lawful grounds, they must be responsible for the results of their actions, adding, Only when we punish them can we prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
In relation to this scandal, the prosecution prosecuted six figures yesterday, including Moon Chung-in, the former chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative who, being one of three figures from Cheong Wa Dae, was accused on a charge of the manipulation of public documents.
The former presidential secretary of economic policies Jung Tae-in was also prosecuted on a charge of abuse of power.
Precisely, the two were under suspicion of issuing manipulated letters of support of the government signed by Chairman Moon, which was asked for by Kim Jae-bok, president of the Haengdam Island Development Co. at that time.
Moreover, Jung is additionally suspected of forcing KHC officials to put up collateral that was needed for the Haengdam Island Development Co., to issue its bonds. Since the officials didnt kneel down to his coercion, Jung is just accused of attempting to threaten.
However, Chung Chan-yong, the former presidential secretary of personnel affairs, was freed from his suspicion related to this scandal because the prosecution said that when mediating conflicts between the company and KHC, Jung was not a presidential secretary. Therefore, it is absurd to accuse him of wrongdoing. On the other hand, the prosecution prosecuted Kim Jae-bok, president of Haengdam Island Development, and Oh Jeom-rok, the former president of KHC, out of four who were named by the BAI for questioning on charges of misfeasance in office.
This incident is the result of politicians excessive support for private business, which was once seen as a national project. Many politicians who were involved in the Southwest Coast Development Project that was initiated by Cheong Wa Dae also maintained a connection with Kim and supported his business.
Even Singapores ambassador to Korea, Calvin Eu who keeps a close relationship with Kim, supported Kims business by sending letters or doing something else.
By using such personal connections, Kim started his business without spending his own money at all. Kim just relied on bank loans instead. Furthermore, he obtained loans without cost in return for placing an order in the second stage of the construction, and successfully made the KHC sign an investment agreement extremely favorable to his company.
This agreement was used as a means for Kim to issue a company bond, which was estimated to be worth $83 million. The credit for the bond issue was put up by Moon and Chung, who pushed the KHC and drafted the letters of support.
It was also revealed that NIS officials who were bribed by Kim put pressure on the KHC to help Kims business.