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3 Jailed Confidants to Attend Ex-Pres.`s Funeral

Posted May. 27, 2009 09:02,   


Confidants of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun in state custody for allegedly taking bribes from former Taekwang Industrial CEO Park Yeon-cha can attend Roh’s funeral Friday.

The Seoul Central District Court yesterday suspended the detention of three of Roh’s old friends – former presidential secretary for general affairs Jung Sang-moon, main opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Gwang-jae, and former senior presidential secretary for civil society Lee Kang-chul - between today and 5 p.m. Friday, the day of the funeral.

The three must stay at their homes or at Roh’s mortuary and funeral over the three-day period. Former senior presidential secretary for civic affairs Park Jung-kyu applied for suspension of arrest yesterday and the court will decide this today.

An individual or his or her family is allowed to apply for suspension of arrest only when severely ill, giving birth to a baby, or attending a family member’s funeral. The court makes a decision after listening to prosecutors’ opinions.

It is exceptional, however, for a former president’s confidants to get a temporary release rather than relatives because of the former president’s death.

A source from the court said, “We decided to do so after considering the exceptional case of a former president’s death and national unity. The low likelihood that the defendants will run away was also taken into consideration.”

The Daejeon District Court allowed Kang Geum-won, Roh’s supporter and the chairman of Changshin Textile who is in custody on an embezzlement charge, to be released yesterday on bail of 100 million won (78,930 U.S. dollars).

“We asked two hospitals to check Kang’s health condition, and were told that a malignant brain tumor was discovered that and he needs a biopsy test and cancer treatment immediately,” the court said.

Kang was released yesterday afternoon from Daejeon Prison and visited Roh’s mortuary in Bongha Village in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province.