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Authorities Discover More Incidents of Illegal Releases of Lee’s Personal Information

Authorities Discover More Incidents of Illegal Releases of Lee’s Personal Information

Posted July. 16, 2007 03:26,   


It transpired yesterday that two more administrative sub-district offices, Nokbeon and Bangbae, issued the residential and social security records of former Seoul Mayor and current Grand National Party presidential hopeful Lee Myeong-bak. Previously, it was reported that only the Shin Gongdeok office had released the records. Still, it is not known who took out the documents for what purpose.

Rumors have it that to avoid attention from government workers, some “invisible hand” behind the scandal had the documents issued at different posts.

One hypothesis has it that Uri Congressman Kim Hyeok-gyu was directly involved in this leakage scandal. Kim made some allegations last month about Lee’s real estate transactions. But no one can tell for sure whether the copy Kim used for the allegations was one of the illegally obtained copies of Lee’s records.

Who and why?-

Nokbeon and Bangbae offices issued a total of six copies of the residential and social security records of Lee’s family members from June 13 to 15, including Lee’s wife and his four children.

Prior to the issuance on June 7, the Shin Gongdeok office released documents of Lee’s wife, Lee’s brother Lee Sang-eun, and his brother-in-law Kim Jae-jeong.

A paralegal, Nah, who is only known by his last name, took out the documents from the Nokbeon and the Bangbae offices. Nah reportedly filed requests for the release of the documents based upon a request from Park. Park is known to have served as paralegal for an attorney who has political connections.

Upon verification of the unauthorized release, the Eunpyeong Administrative District Office, which has jurisdiction over the Nokbeon office, reported the unauthorized leakage case to the police Saturday, accusing Nah of foul play. Receiving the claim, the police arrested Nah as a suspect and turned him over to the Seoul DA’s Office. “Nah must have acted for someone else. But he keeps invoking his ‘Fifth Amendment’ right,” explained a police source.

Park, the key figure in this case, is wanted by the authorities for his involvement in another case. Thus, law enforcement agencies are currently pitching in their best to secure his custody.

Unlike the other incidents, the records issued at Nogbeon and Bangbae include information on Lee’s four children.

Furthermore, the release timing is escalating public suspicion over Rep. Kim of the Uri Party. The records were illegally obtained right after Kim made allegations against Lee. Therefore, the authorities suspect that Kim may have obtained the information on Lee’s children to sustain his claims and to make more allegations.

How Rep. Kim obtained Lee’s records-

The DA’s office reportedly is not excluding the possibility that Rep. Kim of the Uri Party may have obtained documents that were illegally issued from the Shin Gongdeok office.

Kwon, who was arrested for the illegal release of Lee’s documents, denied this contention yesterday. Instead, Kwon alleged that he had handed over the documents to a Hong, a staffer of Grand National Party presidential candidate Park Geun-hye.

Rep. Kim denied his involvement as well. He reportedly said that he did not know who first obtained the documents. “We have no idea how the copies were released. I just received it from former Uri deputy spokesperson Kim Kap-su,” alleged Rep. Kim.

If it turns out that Rep. Kim obtained the documents issued at the Shin Gongdeok office, things get more complicated. What is implied in the situation is that candidate Park’s former staffer first obtained the information and then handed it over to Rep. Kim, who walks the politically opposite line of Park, or someone close to him.

A worst scenario implies a secret dirty deal between candidate Park and the ruling party. Whatever the case may be, a majority of political experts believe that the “drifting” documents finally landed in the hands of Rep. Kim.

will71@donga.com sys1201@donga.com