중앙데일리

Prosecutor Says Kang Got Funds

Jan 08,2001
The 94 billion won ($74 million) that the National Security Planning Agency funneled to the New Korea Party during the general election in 1996 was deposited directly into the personal account of Rep. Kang Sam-jae, then secretary-general of the party, the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office said Monday.

It was previously thought the money went into the official account of the then-ruling party,

A total of 185 candidates, including three members of the then-opposition, received the illegal funds during the general election in 1996 and in local elections in 1995, the prosecution charged.

It added that of the 115.7 billion won that was illegally transferred during the two elections, 114.8 billion won was originated from the intelligence agency's budget, but the transaction was disguised under the Ministry of Finance and Economy's budget. An additional 900 million won came when the intelligence agency sold its former headquarters building on Namsan, the prosecution said.

According to the prosecution, 94 billion won was spent on the general election in 1996 and 21.7 billion won on local elections in 1995.

Prosecutor General Park Soon-yong revealed these and other developments in his investigation Monday.

He said the prosecution's investigation is targeted at finding out how the tax money was used and was not intended to trace a particular party's political funds.

He added that the warfare that has been waged by different political groups since the investigation was launched last week only distorts the fundamental issue at stake.

Asked whether he would subpoena former president Kim Young-sam, his son Kim Hyun-chul and the leader of the opposition Grand National Party, Lee Hoi-chang, the nation's top attorney said that he has no ready-made plan in terms of summoning. They will be subpoenaed if they can facilitate the investigation. The Grand National Party is the successor of the New Korea Party.

Mr. Park added that based on the investigation thus far, questioning Mr. Kang, who handled the finances of the New Korea Party, is "absolutely vital."

Should Mr. Kang refuse to appear voluntarily, he said, the prosecution will have to resort to special legal measures.

by Park Sung-woo




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