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Jeong Met with Influential People

Posted September. 14, 2007 03:08,   


President Roh Moo-hyun`s former protocol secretary Jeong Yun-jae, who is suspected of colluding with a constructor from Busan, met with former Cheong Wa Dae Civil Society chief Lee Jeong-ho (currently teaching political science at Pukyong University) and lawyer Jeong, and talked about prosecutors’ investigation into the Jeong’s case yesterday.

At a meeting held at a café near the National Tax Service Busan office located in Yeonsan-dong, Yeonje-gu at around 10 p.m. on September 12, Jeong said, “Prosecutors will try to do something that seems impossible,” and Lee responded, “Not all arrest warrants are actually issued,” according to a KBS report. In an interview with a reporter of this newspaper after the new program, Lee said, “I arranged the meeting to console him.”

Q. Did you discuss ways to address the issue?

A. Why would we do that in a public pub? I called Jeong and suggested we drink some beer because he seemed to be having a hard time. I asked lawyer Jeong to come along as he’s our mutual friend. We went to a pub close to lawyer Jeong’s house.

Q. What did Jeong say?

A. He said that he feels anxious and things have been tough. He seemed to want to be interrogated by the prosecution.

Q. Was it his voice that was played at the TV news program?

A. Jeong said that prosecutors have launched a special investigation team and they will try to do something that seems impossible.

Q. What was your response?

A. I said that not all arrest warrants are actually issued.

Q. On the news program, someone said that Jeong should hold his ground until the end of the investigation.

A. Lawyer Jeong said, “If you endure for a while, the PR effect will be worth hundreds of millions of won.

Lawyer Jeong said in a phone interview with this newspaper, “I don‘t remember everything clearly, but I think it was my voice.

Q. Has Jeong mentioned anything about the scandal before?

A. I told him to “confess” everything after former director of the National Tax Service Busan office Jeong Sang-gon was arrested on charges of receiving 100 million won in bribes from Kim. He told me that he received 20 million won from Kim in 2003. I was crestfallen until he said, “There’s nothing to worry about, though, because it was a legitimate fund and I gave him a receipt. Other than that, I took nothing from him. I’m clean.” So I said that that’s fine, then.

Q. Prosecutors are tracking bank accounts of Jeong and his relatives.

A. When I was a secretary in Cheong Wa Dae, the Haengdam Island incident broke out, but I was proven innocent in the end and I believe that will be the case this time for Jeong, also. Prosecutors are dragging their feet in investigating the case because they have not found anything to prove him otherwise.

Q. Do you know former Busan NTS director Jeong in person?

A. No, I didn’t until the scandal broke out of late. Jeong (former presidential secretary) said that he met him with other people in Seoul, but never alone.

Q. After the Jeong’s arrest, a rumor has it that you said to reporters of Busan newspapers, “If the former NTS director had received 100 million won, he should’ve denied accepting the money, but instead he was naïve enough to confess to the prosecution.”

A. I think you’re referring to a gathering with close journalists after my resignation at the end of July. Maybe I made such comments. If someone accuses me of saying that, I cannot deny it, but I don’t remember saying that. Someone could’ve said that and I could’ve agreed with it. But think about it, I have no knowledge about the case, so how could I make such remarks. I honestly do not remember anything.

When he was asked to recall his comment repeatedly, he said, “That doesn’t sound right. I don’t think I’d have made that comment. I knew nothing about the director’s arrest. I think my response could have been “That could be the case.”

Former protocol secretary Jeong Yun-jae said in a phone interview, “They were sympathetic to me. They comforted me, that’s all.” Lawyer Jeong said, “I haven’t made up my mind, but I’m thinking about suing KBS for slander.”

Meanwhile, a KBS official said, “With heightened interest in the Kim Sang-jin case by the public, we were tipped off about the gathering and covered the story. If the people concerned file a lawsuit, we will address the issue accordingly.”

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