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Chief Presidential Policy Adviser and Woman Who Forged Academic Credentials Romantically Involved

Chief Presidential Policy Adviser and Woman Who Forged Academic Credentials Romantically Involved

Posted September. 11, 2007 03:11,   


Chief presidential policy adviser Byeon Yang-gyun, who pressured prosecutors in regard to the Shin Jeong-ah case, turned out to be intimately involved with Shin. The investigation also found out that Byeon had met with Buddhist priest Jang Yun, who raised suspicions about Shin’s fake credentials, and discussed this issue, Cheong Wa Dae said yesterday. President Roh, who came back after the APEC meeting yesterday morning, accepted a resignation letter submitted by Byeon.

The Seoul Prosecutors’ Western District Office announced that Byeon would be interrogated soon. Roh, who said, “The whole thing seems right out of a fiction novel,” referring to the Shin case on September 3, is likely to be criticized for defending his aide and to be held accountable for the incident. At the same time, the lame duck phenomenon will speed up as another close aide of Roh’s, Jeong Yun-jae, is allegedly engaged in a tax scandal.

Chief civil press secretary Jeon Hae-cheol said in an emergency briefing, “Prosecutors found out the relationship between Byeon and Shin after searching their premises. Justice minister Jeong Seong-jin on September 9 told chief presidential secretary Moon Jae-in that Byeon could be subjected to interrogation or investigation by prosecutors.”

Jeon said, “An investigation into Byeon revealed a few gaps between what he said and what is true. Byeon admitted that he has been in contact with Shin for years thinking that they both went to Yale. When he met Jang Yoon on July 8, he mentioned issues related to Shin. During President Roh’s trip to Guatemala, he contacted Jang indirectly through his friend.

Jeon said, “Byeon expressed his will to resign during the investigation by the presidential office.” Byeon, after suspicions toward Shin were raised on August 24, continued to say through a Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson, “I don’t know Shin personally, I have never been involved in the “fake degree” incident, and I never talked about Shin even though I met with priest Jang. All we discussed were complaints related to Buddhist policies.”

After being briefed on the incident, President Roh said, “Investigate the case strictly by following laws and regulations. Accept the resignation letter so the investigation will not be hampered by Byeon’s position as a high ranking government official.” President Roh was allegedly furious over Byeon not telling the truth.

When asked whether he wants to explain what President Roh had said in regard to the issue, Jeon said, “I will first report to the president.”