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Probe Begins Into $5 Mln Bribe to Ex. Pres.`s Relative

Posted April. 03, 2009 09:47,   


Prosecutors will begin a full-fledged probe into the suspicion that a company CEO gave five million U.S. dollars to Yeon Cheol-ho, the first son-in-law of former President Roh Moo-hyun’s brother Gun-pyeong.

The Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday that an investigation will look into a tripartite meeting in August 2007 among Taekwang Industry Chairman Park Yeon-ha, Changsin Textile CEO Kang Geum-won, and former presidential secretary for general affairs Chung Sang-moon.

At the meeting in a Seoul hotel, Park allegedly offered five million dollars through a bank account in Hong Kong. Prosecutors said Park expressed his intention to offer the money to former President Roh at that time.

Prosecutors have reportedly obtained Park’s statement about the purpose and real owner of the money and plan to secure additional evidence through inquires into Roh’s aides.

Senior prosecutor Hong Man-pyo told a briefing yesterday that a decision on whether to question Chung will be made after further investigation.

Hong Kong judicial authorities will send soon bank account data of Park’s now-defunct company Asia Pacific Company based in Hong Kong, according to prosecutors. The data will help identify the whereabouts of the five million dollars and its purposes, and find the exact amount of slush funds Park amassed and facilitate a sweeping inquiry into lobbying funds involving political circles.

Prosecutors also cleared ruling Grand National Party lawmakers Kim Mu-sung and Kwon Kyeong-seok of taking bribes from Park after reviewing election fund data obtained from the National Election Observation Committee.

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