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Wiretap Prosecutors Summon Ex-Ambassador

Posted November. 14, 2005 03:07,   


Prosecutors investigating the NIS wiretapping case announced Sunday that they will summon former Korean Ambassador Hong Seok-hyun as early as Tuesday.

Hong returned to Seoul Saturday in the afternoon on Korean Air Flight KE6708.

The prosecution will investigate whether the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy’s (PSPD) claims that Hong played a role in Samsung Group`s alleged provision of illegal campaign funds to presidential candidates ahead of the 1997 election are true.

The prosecution will also look into the PSPD’s allegation that Hong provided bribes to former and present senior prosecutors before Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) in 1997.

In July, the PSPD filed a request to the prosecution to investigate 20 current and former Samsung executives including Hong, Samsung vice chairman Lee Hak-soo, and Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee when an eavesdropped audiotape containing a conversation between Hong and Lee, allegedly discussing how to distribute slush funds, was revealed.

The prosecution will decide this week whether to issue arrest warrants and the extent of the judicial charges against Shin Gunn and Lim Dong-won, former NIS directors who were proven to be involved in illegal wiretapping.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com