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Auditors Probe Hwang’s Donation Use

Posted January. 28, 2006 04:08,   


The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) summoned Professor Hwang Woo-suk of Seoul National University (SNU) to an inspection room at the SNU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) for questioning yesterday.

“Professor Hwang had a female employee manage some 1.8 billion won out of 3.3 billion won in private donations in his personal bank account,” a BAI official said.

The official added that the BAI was investigating whether Hwang used the money for private purposes other than research.

Hwang has reportedly let the female employee in question manage his team’s stem cell donations since 1995.

The BAI is investigating whether Hwang’s research team used government research funds and private donations for legitimate purposes.

It is also being reported that the BAI is planning to subpoena Park Ki-young, the former presidential advisor for information, science and technology affairs who received 250 million won in research funds from Hwang, next week.

Meanwhile, the special investigation team of the Seoul Central District prosecutors’ office (SCDPO) is analyzing a transcript of conversations between Kim Seon-jong, a MizMedi Hospital researcher, and other paper co-authors from October 2005.

Prosecutors announced that they found about 280 files on the laptop seized from the researcher’s home including phone conversation transcripts and a recording of his interview with the Yonhap Television Network (YTN).

On January 26, the prosecution also summoned Yoo Young-jun, Park Eul-soon and Lee Yoo-jin, the second, fourth and fifth co-authors of Hwang’s 2004 paper in the U.S. journal Science, and Kim Soo, the sixth co-author of Hwang’s 2005 paper.

Min-Hyuk Park Jin-Kyun Kil mhpark@donga.com leon@donga.com