‘Grandeur’ scandal case reopened by prosecutor

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‘Grandeur’ scandal case reopened by prosecutor

Prosecutor General Kim Joon-gyu has ordered prosecutors to reinvestigate the “Grandeur case,” in which a prosecutor was investigated on suspicion of taking a Hyundai Grandeur luxury sedan from a friend in return for lobbying a colleague to look after this friend’s legal case in 2008.

Han Chan-shik, spokesman for the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office, said on Tuesday that Kim appointed Kang Chan-woo, a prosecutor at the Gwangju High Prosecutors’ Office, to reinvestigate the case.

The Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office said a senior prosecutor at the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office surnamed Jeong had been investigated for allegedly taking a luxury sedan from his friend, a construction company owner surnamed Kim, who was in a legal dispute with his investors in 2008 and was also investigated.

The retail price of the Grandeur car is about 34 million won ($30,000).

The company owner Kim had sued four investors over apartment development rights and the case was handed to Jeong’s colleague. Jeong asked his colleague to look after that case in the same year.

Jeong was cleared of charges in July 2009, which stirred an intense backlash from critics who argued that prosecutors were lenient in investigating the case. Jeong’s colleague was investigated for abuse of authority but was also cleared of charges.

In last year’s National Assembly audit, lawmakers raised doubts over the result of the investigation and Kim said he would look into the case.

The prosecutor general’s decision came shortly after a Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office inspection team said there was a need for additional investigation. Han Chan-shik, the spokesman for the prosecutors’ office, however, said the case “isn’t a reinvestigation but an additional investigation to clarify doubts.”


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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