Go to contents

`Bizman Gathered Slush Funds for Roh Gov`t`

Posted July. 09, 2010 11:30,   


A ruling party lawmaker said Thursday that a businessman secretly probed by the Prime Minister’s Office helped gather slush funds for the previous administration.

Rep. Cho Jeon-hyeok said, “Rumor has it that when KB Hanmaeum was taken over by Kim Jong-ik, one of 100 retirees, in a deal expected to generate a large profit in April 2005, (KB) Vice Chairman Kim and a personnel manager close to influential leaders at the time approved the deal. Even Kookmin Bank President Kang Chung-won gave favors for the deal, according to the rumor.”

In a news conference at the National Assembly, Cho also showed the statement from the whistleblower and a copy of the bank account of a supplier that performed a transaction with KB Hanmaeum.

The whistleblower said, “I heard Kim say he was close to influential people from the previous administration, such as Lee Kwang-jae or Ahn Hee-jung.”

Cho also said Kim created slush funds while he purchased KB Hanmaeum in 2005 thanks to help from the Roh Moo-hyun administration, and is suspected of delivering money to the power elite in that administration.

The whistleblower, who allegedly supplied goods to KB Hanmaeum, said he was forced to inflate supply cost from 10 million to 30 million won (8,269 to 24,807 U.S. dollars) at Kim’s request in April last year, and withdrew the excess money of 13 million won (10,750 dollars) in cash and delivered it to Kim.

On the whistleblower’s comment that because Kim requested the same method of transaction, he declined and is sure Kim had similar deals with other suppliers, Cho said, “I will ask for responses at the party level and request an investigation or seek prosecution.”

The personnel manager said, “Kim was automatically selected as KB Hanmaeum president because he voluntarily talked about self-sacrifice after taking voluntary retirement back then. I was not even part of the approval process.”

Rep. Park Jie-won, floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, told MBC radio, “Presidential secretary for planning and management Jeong In-cheol, who succeeded Park Young-june as vice secretary for state affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office, got the directives from Park and reported alternatives such as a presidential office reshuffle.”

“I was told that the Park Young-june and Chung lines were related to the selection of the KB Financial Group chairman.”

Park Young-june denied the allegation, calling it “an outright lie.”

dnsp@donga.com pen@donga.com