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Ex-Pres. Roh MH to Undergo Questioning Thursday

Posted April. 27, 2009 03:58,   


Prosecutors will summon former President Roh Moo-hyun for questioning Thursday afternoon on allegations that he accepted bribes of six million U.S. dollars from a business tycoon while in office.

Roh is expected to travel to the Supreme Prosecutors` Office in Seoul by car or bus from his home in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province. He will be questioned by two prosecutors in an investigation room specifically for VIPs.

Senior prosecutor Hong Man-pyo said yesterday, “The questioning will take quite some time,” indicating it could continue through early Friday morning.

On if Roh will be summoned again, Hong said, “We cannot confirm that right now.”

After grilling the former president, prosecutors plan to either indict without detention or apply for an arrest warrant against him in advance early next month.

Roh filled out a 16-page written questionnaire sent by prosecutors via e-mail Saturday afternoon.

His confidant and former presidential chief of staff Moon Jae-in said, “Many of the answers have been leaked to the media.”

On the one million dollars Taekwang Industry CEO Park Yeon-cha allegedly gave to Roh’s wife through Roh’s former secretary Jung Sang-moon at the end of June 2006, Roh reportedly said, “I recently found out that my wife borrowed that money.”

On the five million dollars Park wired to Roh immediately before he left office at the end of February last year, Roh is known to have said, “I heard the money was invested in a business run by my niece’s husband immediately after my retirement.”

Prosecutors, however, said Park gave out the bribes at Roh’s request in return for helping Park facilitate his business interests, including winning a contract for the construction of a coal power plant in Vietnam.

In the 16-page reply, Roh used 11 to answer 20 questions on key issues on his alleged involvement in the bribery scandal and the remaining pages for emphasizing prosecutors’ respect for a suspect’s rights.

Prosecutors are reportedly tracking down where Sejoong Namo Tour Chairman Chun Shin-il used money he secured after selling his company’s stocks immediately before the 2007 presidential election. Chun is suspected of receiving a large bribe from Park in return for canceling scheduled tax audits.