Twins’ ace talks to prosecution on match-fixing

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Twins’ ace talks to prosecution on match-fixing

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Park Hyun-jun, 26, an ace pitcher for the Seoul LG Twins, appeared before prosecutors in Daegu and faced questions over match-fixing allegations yesterday.

According to the Daegu District Prosecutor’s Office, it summoned 2011 season All-Star pitcher Park at 9:40 a.m. and interrogated him over his alleged involvement. Park is under suspicion of accepting two to three million won ($2,682) per game in return for trying to fix baseball games by walking batters in the first inning of games during the 2011 regular season.

The prosecutors said they questioned Park over his connection with a match-fixing broker surnamed Kim, who claimed Park was involved in the match-fixing on Sunday. Park was paid 43 million won for the 2011 season and will receive 130 million won for 2012.

Meanwhile, the Daegu Court issued a detention warrant against Seoul LG Twins pitcher Kim Seong-hyun, 23, who was arrested on Tuesday by Daegu prosecutors after admitting that he was involved in a match-fixing scheme by walking batters in the first innings of two separate games in April and May.

“It’s clear that he was involved in the match-fixing scheme,” said Judge Jeon Woo-seok at the Daegu court. “We also worried that he might destroy any evidence and escape from the country.” Kim is the first pitcher ever in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) history under custody for involvement in a match-fixing scheme.

The KBO is keeping their eyes on the prosecution’s investigations because additional names involved in the match-fixing could possibly come from Kim. The prosecution has not revealed details about Kim’s questioning, but said that the outcome will have an impact on the investigation. “It means they’ve found something more that we should worry about,” an official at the KBO said.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Seoul Heroes pitcher Moon Seong-hyun, who had confessed to team officials last month that he was approached to be part of a match-fixing scheme, was questioned by the Daegu District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday. Moon said that he received the offer from a stranger via phone in the middle of the 2010 regular season, but turned down the offer down right away and hung up.


By Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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