Go to contents

X-File vs. “1997 Tax Scandal”: Very Similar

Posted September. 15, 2005 08:31,   


Investigation records of the “tax scandal” in 1997 involving the National Tax Office, which allegedly assisted in collecting illegal campaign funds, are greatly similar to the recorded conversations of Samsung’s general election campaign funds. The conversations were listened to and recorded, dubbed as the “X file,” and they are in the possession of the Agency for National Security Planning (currently called the Korea Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA)).

It is noteworthy that the circumstances of Hong Suk-hyun, the former publisher of the JoongAng Ilbo, giving funds recorded in the “tax scandal” investigation notes support the feasibility of what the X-file contains.

According to the investigation records on the scandal reported by “Ohmynews,” the online newspaper, Lee Hoi-sung, brother of then candidate of the opposition Grand National Party president, Lee Hoi-chang, reportedly said, “On four occasions from September to November 1997, I received six billion won at a parking lot of an apartment complex in Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.” But Lee Hoi-sung did not reveal the person who gave the money to him.

The newspaper argued that the former president, Mr. Hong, gave him the money, suggesting that he lived in “H apartment in Apgujeong-dong” at that time, and the X-file disclosed that Mr. Hong stated he called Lee Hoi-sung near his house and gave him the money.

It was said that the prosecutors did not continue asking how the money was received. They did not indict against this because the period when the money was transferred was before the Political Funds Law took effect, and it is not illegal to do so when there is no need to compensate for that.

On this, the then investigative prosecutor said, “The parking lot of H apartment in Apgujeong-dong was frequently used in many scandals, including the Hyundai slush fund scandal,” adding, “I did not further interrogate him, asking ‘Why there?’ because there was no need for it when the person admitted having received it.”

A prosecutor official said, “There is nothing special about the place.”

Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin said, “Everything has been investigated about the 1997 general election funds. It is just that it was impossible to indict or there was no need for it, so there was no official announcement on it.”

Meanwhile, the parking lot of the apartment is not easily noticed, both close to Gangnam and Gangbuk areas, so it is said to have been often used “to give ‘secret’ funds.”