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‘Ex-PM Spent 28 Days at Golf Resort for Free’

Posted March. 25, 2010 04:20,   


Prosecutors yesterday submitted evidence allegedly showing that former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook played golf on Jeju Island for 28 days in 2008 and last year for free using the membership of a former CEO.

Han’s legal counsel, however, called the allegation a “malicious” labeling of the former prime minister having nothing to do with the case.

Prosecutors told the Seoul District Court that Han denies taking any money from former Korea Express President Kwak Young-wook, but she did stay at a Jeju golf village for 26 nights free of charge using Kwak’s membership.

Han is known to have stayed at the golf village for 20 nights in late 2008 and another six nights last year. Non-members are charged 660,000 won (580 U.S. dollars) per night, Han’s combined stay was worth around 17 million won (14,945 U.S. dollars), prosecutors said.

They added that Han played three rounds of golf with Kwak’s brother and wife, and that Kwak paid for one round.

Han allegedly used Kwak’s membership to play golf and had him pay the expenses in addition to receiving discounts. This, prosecutors said, proves she was close enough to Kwak to receive money from him and write her autobiography at the golf resort.

According to caddies who tended to Han at the time, she played golf with borrowed clubs and told workers at the resort that the venue was the proper environment to work on her autobiography.

On March 12, Han’s attorney said she had refused to accept golf clubs from Kwak as a gift, saying she was not a golfer and received just one cap.

The attorney denied the charges against her, saying they have nothing to do with the case and that submission of alleged evidence of her golfing toward the end of her trial is unfair.

baltika7@donga.com jefflee@donga.com