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Fmr. Samsung Lawyer, Civic Groups Blast Special Counsel’s Findings

Fmr. Samsung Lawyer, Civic Groups Blast Special Counsel’s Findings

Posted April. 19, 2008 05:47,   


Former Samsung Group lawyer Kim Yong-chul, who blew the whistle on Samsung’s illegal slush funds, and civic organizations including the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy and the Solidarity for Economic Reform, which have raised allegations of corruption against the company, held a press conference and refuted the independent counsel’s investigation results in the press room of the special counsel building in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, on Friday.

They said the investigation was riddled with problems, such as: the proper share price of Everland should have been set at 223,659 won; the special prosecution failed to determine the exact amount of slush funds accumulated through borrowed-name accounts as well as the source of the funds; the investigation was carried out solely based on statements from Samsung officials; and Chairman Lee Kun-hee was indicted without physical detention, despite gross tax evasion.

“(The counsel) was supposed to probe Samsung, but it investigated me. This brought home how powerful Samsung is,” said former Samsung attorney Kim. He added, “Addressing injustice regarding Samsung is a matter that deserves my full attention. I feel that I have discovered something to do for the rest of my life.”

In response, the special prosecution team responded to the criticism, clause by clause, based on the probe’s final results, released Thursday.

Regarding the share price of Everland, the special team argued that the calculation was appropriate, citing the ruling of an appeals court.

Regarding the size of the slush fund, the independent counsel said that the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy’s claim, that the prosecution relied only on materials submitted by Samsung officials, was misleading. The prosecution determined the amount after thorough investigation. Samsung officials presented documents regarding borrowed-name accounts as a sign of admitting wrongdoings.

Regarding criticism that the special team cleared Chairman Lee of bribery charges based on Samsung’s arguments, the independent counsel’s office said, “We found Kim Young-chul’s claims unreliable while other figures vehemently denied the allegations. In this situation, we made the best possible conclusion.”

Regarding Lee’s indictment without physical detention, the special counsel said that Lee evaded a large amount of taxes but that he did not committed a crime that warranted physical detention.

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