Prosecutor nominee admits fake address use

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Prosecutor nominee admits fake address use

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Han Sang-dae, prosecutor general nominee, holds a press conference yesterday to defend himself against draft-dodging accusations. [NEWSIS]

President Lee Myung-bak’s nominee to head the prosecution said at a press conference yesterday that he did not dodge the draft, but admitted to using a fake address to get his daughters into a better school.

Han Sang-dae, head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, met with reporters yesterday and addressed the Democratic Party’s argument that he is unfit to serve as prosecutor general.

The Democrats said Han dodged the draft and used fake addresses. Fake addresses are often used as a means of sending children to better schools and to disguise real estate speculation, which is frowned on among Korean politicians who often have inside information about future development plans.

“I was exempted from military duty because I had herniated disc surgery,” Han said yesterday. “I got the condition while playing American football during my college years and it got worse while preparing for the bar exam.

“In 1981, doctors used primitive techniques for the surgery, so many people didn’t want to take the risk. I had already passed the bar, so I could have served in the military as a judicial affairs officer. Unless the surgery was really needed, why would I have chosen such a dangerous means to dodge the draft?”

When announcing Han’s nomination, the Blue House said it obtained his surgery records. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office also released Seoul National University Hospital’s discharge summary of Han to defend the nominee.

Han admitted to using a fake address and apologized. He said he did it because his two daughters wanted to go to the same middle schools as their friends.

The Blue House said yesterday it knew about Han’s use of a fake address, but doesn’t see it as a critical flaw for Han because it was not used for real estate speculation.

But the Democratic Party condemned the president for trying to appoint “unqualified, unethical officials” to important posts.

“President Lee is fighting against the people,” said DP floor leader Kim Jin-pyo. “Lee ignored public opinion by insisting on his nominations of Han as prosecutor general and Senior Civil Affairs Secretary Kwon Jae-jin as justice minister.”

The Democrats have protested Kwon’s nomination because they say his close ties with Lee may prevent him from being neutral in his management of legislative and presidential elections next year.

The DP also said Kwon had tried to influence the BBK financial fraud scandal involving President Lee when he served as deputy chief of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. The DP also said Kwon was involved in illegal government surveillance of civilians, and was lobbied by the suspended and scandal-plagued Busan Savings Bank Group.

The Blue House denied the accusations and said Kwon is a capable, qualified former prosecutor who can handle the job.

After receiving cabinet approval for Han’s nomination today, Lee will immediately send a formal request to the National Assembly to hold confirmation hearings for Kwon and Han.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
한상대 “사시 공부 중 허리디스크 악화 … 합격 후 수술”
병역 기피 의혹 해명

한상대(52) 검찰총장 후보자가 자신을 둘러싼 의혹에 대해 적극적으로 해명했다.

 한 후보자는 병역 기피 의혹이 제기된 18일 기자간담회를 자청해 허리디스크 수술로 병역 면제 판정을 받기까지의 전 과정을 세세하게 설명했다. 그는 서울 서초동 서울중앙지검 소회의실에서 열린 간담회에서 “대학 시절 미식축구부 활동을 하면서 허리가 나빠졌고, 이후 사법시험 공부를 하는 과정에서 허리디스크 증상이 악화했다”고 말했다. 이어 “1981년 7월 사시에 합격하고 군법무관 입대가 결정된 상태에서 잠을 제대로 잘 수 없을 정도로 허리가 나빠져 그해 8월 서울대병원에서 수술을 받았다”고 설명했다.

한 후보자는 “당시 법무관 경력은 호봉 산정, 승진 등에서 유리하게 작용했기 때문에 군 입대를 기피할 이유가 전혀 없었다”고 강조했다. 검찰은 당시 한 후보자의 입원, 수술, 퇴원 기록이 담긴 서울대병원 의무기록지 사본을 공개했다.

한 후보자는 본인과 배우자 명의로 아파트를 두 채 보유한 경위에 대해서도 “아내 명의의 아파트는 장인이 아내에게 물려준 부동산을 판 돈으로 마련했고 증여세도 납부했다”고 설명했다. 아직 20대인 두 딸이 경기도 가평군에 임야를 보유하고 있는 것과 관련해서는 “선친(고 한윤수 변호사)이 자신을 기억해주기를 바라는 마음에서 아이들에게 물려준 것”이라는 해명을 내놓았다. 그는 4년 전 작고한 선친을 언급하면서 감정이 북받친 듯 잠시 눈시울을 붉히기도 했다. 한 후보자는 17일 “두 딸이 중학교에 진학할 무렵인 1998년과 2002년 피아노 강사의 집으로 위장전입을 했다”고 먼저 밝혔었다.  

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