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Key Issue of BBK Scandal Not Being Addressed

Posted November. 23, 2007 04:01,   


“The BBK scandal” involving stock manipulator Kim Gyeong-jun is turning into a fight in which the cart is being put before the horse. Grand National Party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak’s alleged involvement in stock price manipulation has been put on the back burner, despite the fact that it is a core issue of the case.

Although Kim, his sister Erica Kim, and his wife Lee Bo-ra have held many press conferences and interviews, they have not provided concrete evidence linking Lee to the BBK stock price manipulation. Instead, they are focusing on the claim that “Lee is the owner of the BBK.” They believe that if that can be proven, it will naturally indicate that Lee was involved in stock-price manipulation activities.

So far, the only decisive evidence that Kim’s family claims to have are dual contracts. Although there is growing controversy over the authenticity of the contracts, it is said that they do not state former Seoul Mayor Lee’s involvement in stock rigging at all. “Even the prosecutors who have been investigating the case say that they do not understand why they handed the contracts, which are not relevant to the essence of the case, which is Lee’s involvement in stock price manipulation,” said Hong Jun-pyo, the chairman of the GNP’s clean politics committee, on November 22.

Erica Kim recently told reporters, “If you carefully look at the three dual contracts, you will be able to figure out that Lee is involved in the case.” However, she did not mention the details of the contracts.

She said the family is keeping four original contracts: one in Korean and three in English. But the GNP claims the family fabricated the contracts as Lee never made a Korean-language contract, which the family claims shows he owned BBK.

“The three contracts are not dual contracts. In fact, they are valid contracts which do not pose a problem. Not a single word in the contracts suggests Lee’s involvement with the BBK, and the Korean contract which links Lee to the BBK has been completely fabricated,” said Goh Seung-deok, a lawyer and a member of the GNP’s clean politics committee, at a press conference on Thursday.

The dispute between the two sides seems to indicate that the BBK case will be resolved when the existence of the four dual contracts and their authenticity are verified. Although Lee Bo-ra claimed on Wednesday that there are a total of four secret contracts: three English contracts and one Korean contract, she refused to disclose them to the public.

The truth over the disputed timing of Lee and Kim’s first meeting is also becoming an important issue of the BBK scandal. Lee claims that their first meeting took place in January 2000 when the two discussed a business deal. On the other hand, Erica Kim says that her brother and Lee met for the first time in early 1999 before the BBK was established.

Meanwhile, Lee Jang-chun, a former diplomat, made public through the Internet that GNP candidate Lee gave him a name card in 2001 on which Lee’s name was written as the president of BBK. Lee Jang-chun also claimed that candidate Lee even wrote an address on the name card. However, Lee denied the claim, saying the handwriting on the name card is not his and that the card is fake.