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Probe Launched into Kim Dong-cheol Case

Posted August. 08, 2007 03:02,   


The Seoul District Public Prosecutors’ Office officially launched a probe into a criminal claim filed against Assemblyman Kim Dong-cheol yesterday. Rep. Kim disclosed the classified audit report on former Seoul Mayor and now leading presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak. The Board of Audit and Inspection (“BAI”) originally prepared the document after its investigation into an allegation against Lee that Lee had illegally bought a land lot in the Gangnam area, Seoul.

The DA’s office will first review the documents produced and submitted by the legal team of the Grand National Party. Then, it plans to question Rep. Kim. The office will look into how Kim obtained the report and whether he had disclosed it to a third party.

Rep. Kim made the allegation Monday. Kim alleged, citing the report, that, “The POSCO employees who were in charge of the land deal in 1995 testified that they had heard that the real ownership did not belong to Lee’s brother and brother-in-law. It was [former Mayor] Lee who really owned it.”

The GNP previously filed the claim with the DA’s office. The party claimed that Kim would not have obtained the report without the cooperation of a BAI insider.

In the meanwhile, to find out the truth concerning the land deal, the DA’s office is now tracking the banking records of Lee’s brother and brother-in-law.

A source said, “We have taken out a warrant to look deep into the case. With the warrant, we can track each and every piece of the [financial] records.”

On the other hand, it has been confirmed that Korean-American Kim Gyeong-jun has filed an appeal from the extradition order by a U.S. federal trial court. The Korean authorities want him for his alleged involvement in fraud and stock-price manipulation cases.

needjung@donga.com dnsp@donga.com