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Ex-Pres.’s Brother Arrested on Bribery Charge

Posted December. 05, 2008 04:25,   


The elder brother of former President Roh Moo-hyun was arrested yesterday on the charge of receiving 2.96 billion won (2.01 million U.S. dollars) from Sejong Capital in return for lobbying the state-run agricultural cooperative Nonghyup to purchase the troubled money lender.

Roh Gun-pyeong is the former president’s first relative arrested on the charge of an irregularity. He was detailed at a lockup facility in Seoul around 7 p.m.

Prosecutors said that between Feb. and June in 2005, Roh Gun-pyeong’s high school alumnus Jeong Hwa-sam introduced the former president’s brother to Sejong Capital CEO Hong Ki-ok, who sought influence in the sale of Sejong Securities by Nonghyup.

Roh Gun-pyeong is charged with receiving Hong’s savings account book and seal with 2.96 billion won deposited in the accounts of Jeong and his brother on Feb. 27, 2006, after Nonghyup’s acquisition of Sejong.

Prosecutors said Roh Gun-pyeong admitted that the Jeong brothers, whom he claimed did not see the account book earlier, asked him to share part of the kickbacks he received from Hong several times.

The former president’s brother was also confirmed to have helped launch a gambling arcade in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, operated by one of Roh Moo-hyun’s confidants and where a portion of three billion won (2.03 million dollars) was invested in July 2006.

Between 300 million to 400 million won (203,000 to 270,800 dollars) of arcade profits that was supposed to have been transferred to a bank account under the confidant’s name was believed to have gone to Roh Gun-pyeong.

Additional charges will be filed against Roh Gun-pyeong after he is confirmed to have committed crimes in the acquisition of one million shares of RealID Technology under false names. He is believed to have taken out hundreds of thousands of dollars his own company Jeongwon Construction in March 2004 to buy the shares.

“On Jeongwon Construction, we are investigating if additional criminal charges of embezzlement, dereliction of duty and tax evasion should be filed against him,” said Choi Jae-gyeong of the Supreme Public Prosecutors` Office.

On the arrest warrant for Roh Gun-pyeong, a senior official at the Seoul Central District Court said “The evidence and questioning results submitted by prosecutors show sufficient reason to believe that Roh committed a crime. Given the importance of the case and the progress of the investigation, we cannot overlook the possibility of Roh destroying evidence or fleeing.”

Prosecutors also confirmed that Taekwang Industry CEO Park Yeon-cha used borrowed name accounts in a securities company’s Gimhae branch. Park is suspected of using the accounts to trade Sejong-related stocks by taking advantage of inside information on the sale of the securities company. He is alleged to have earned 17.8 billion won (12.1 million dollars) from trading stocks related to the brokerage.

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