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Erica Kim’s Bluffing and “Empty” Press Conference in L.A.

Erica Kim’s Bluffing and “Empty” Press Conference in L.A.

Posted November. 22, 2007 03:19,   


To exonerate her brother Chris Kim, who faces jail time for his fraudulent manipulation of BBK stock prices, Erica Kim promised to reveal, at a press conference yesterday, important documents, including secret written agreements between Chris and Grand National Party candidate Lee Myung-bak. But she never showed up.

South Koreans are beginning to doubt her integrity.

Erica previously called TV stations and newspaper companies in Los Angeles and asked them to attend a press conference to be held yesterday, Korean time, at a hotel. The conference was held as promised, but Erica did not honor her word. Instead, Chris’s wife Lee Bo-ra greeted the media crews.

Lee told reporters, “We will submit, by the 30th of this month, four secret agreements showing Mr. Lee [Myung-bak] was the real owner of BBK.” But she failed to show the original copy of the alleged secret agreement. She briefly exposed a photocopy to the camera crews and left without taking any questions from the reporters.

Lee further alleged, regarding the secret contract papers, “The Korean instrument shows Mr. Lee owned BBK. And the other three English documents show the involvement of LKe Bank, Mr. Lee, my husband, and eBank Korea in the foundation of BBK.”

“Chris Kim first met Mr. Lee in early 1999, unlike what Mr. Lee said. One of Mr. Lee’s loyal lieutenants, Lee Jin-yeong, testified before a U.S. federal prosecutor that Mr. Lee’s business cards as CEO of eBank Korea were genuine,” continued Lee.

Lee rebutted Erica Kim’s allegations through her own words. In an interview held one day prior to the conference, Erica contended that Chris entered into three secret deals with Lee Myung-bak and that Chris submitted the three documents to the Korean DA’s office upon his extradition.

The self-contradiction was not a one-time event. It has a long history. Chris and his family members have been changing their statements and allegations. For example, his family members promised to come back to Korea, along with Chris, to fight to the end. But none of them actually did. They are just playing the media game in the United States where Korean law enforcement agencies cannot claim jurisdiction.

The Seoul DA’s office, which is now looking into the BBK stock price manipulation case of Chris Kim, said yesterday that it would request Chris and candidate Lee to submit their original copies of the alleged secret contract papers.

Senior prosecutor Kim Hong-il in charge of the investigation confirmed, “Chris has submitted several documents, and some of them are not original. We don’t know whether the documents are genuine.”

taylor55@donga.com verso@donga.com