Go to contents

Pres. Office Claims Innocence in Bribery Scandala

Posted April. 14, 2009 11:15,   


The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul apparently believes it is relatively safe from the growing bribery scandal involving former President Roh Moo-hyun.

A source told The Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, “We’re just waiting and seeing the investigation. I was told nobody in the presidential office is related to (Taekwang Industry CEO Park Yeon-cha).”

“Certain media have written groundless stories and raised suspicions, but they are wrong.”

As the probe into the previous Roh administration nears its end except for investigation of Roh himself, the incumbent administration is trying to draw attention away from itself.

Another source from the presidential office said, “This proves that no problem was found in the internal investigation,” meaning that the rumor of President Lee Myung-bak saying “Investigate everything as is” is related to the presidential office’s belief of its innocence.

Two things from the scandal could create major headaches for the presidential office and the ruling Grand National Party: former public relations secretary for President Lee Choo Boo-kil and his alleged lobbying to prevent a tax audit, and Roh’s college friend and Sejoong Namo Tour CEO Chun Shin-il’s involvement in the case.

Sources from the presidential office said Choo’s lobbying failed, and as his spending of 200 million won (150,000 U.S. dollars) was exposed, they say there is nothing to worry about.

The problem is Chun, however. A high-ranking member of the ruling party said, “I was told that Chun claims he never received money from Park. Whether he received it or not will be unveiled by prosecutors, and I was told no one in the presidential office is involved.”

Even if Chun took money from Park, no presidential advisers are known to have been involved. Chun reportedly claimed his innocence to President Lee’s confidants and expressed his willingness to tell the truth to prosecutors immediately when summoned.

Reports say President Lee’s spokesman Lee Dong-kwan remained in Seoul right before the president left for Thailand Friday allegedly to prepare for the bribery scandal affecting the presidential office.