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Prosecutors May Conclude Kim Case before Election

Posted October. 23, 2007 07:29,   


Prosecutors are gearing up for the arrival of Kim Gyeong-jun.

As soon as the U.S. Secretary of State decides to extradite Kim to Korea, the Korean prosecution will dispatch an escort team to the United States. He will immediately be arrested and questioned upon arriving in Korea.

Kim, founder of BBK, will be indicted on four charges, including embezzlement of 38.4 billion won in company funds, and manipulation of stock prices by spreading false information that his acquisition Optional Ventures would be taken over by a foreign company.

Although Kim was banned from leaving the country in 2001, he flew to the U.S. on a forged passport in December of the same year. The Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office suspended his indictment on four charges, including violation of securities exchange laws, fraud and embezzlement, and forging documents

“It will not take long to investigate the case as we have finished investigating the involved parties. If an arrest warrant for Kim is issued, it will be the prosecutors’ duty to conclude the case within 20 days – the maximum time allowed for his detention,” said a prosecution official.

However, the prosecutors are also expected to interrogate Kim on more than the four charges since he is also the key witness of the DAS scandal.

Grand National Party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak’s brother and brother-in-law are the major share holders of DAS, an automobile parts company which invested 19 billion won in BBK. Kim recently claimed that the real owner of BBK is Lee. Therefore, many politicians raised the allegation that Lee was involved in DAS’s decision to invest the large sum in BBK.

The prosecutors are feeling the pressure due to the political sensitivity of the issue and the timing of his arrival, since he will be sent home prior to the presidential elections. In response, the prosecution is reviewing a number of ways to handle the case. A great deal of attention is being paid to whether the prosecution will announce its investigation results before the presidential election.