Prosecutors indict Roh’s daughter

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Prosecutors indict Roh’s daughter

Prosecutors indicted Roh Jeong-yeon, 36, the daughter of late President Roh Moo-hyun for violating Korea’s foreign exchange law after she tried to purchase a luxury apartment in the United States.

The Central Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office yesterday announced investigation results and closed the case by indicting the daughter of the late president Roh without detention.

According to the prosecution, Kwon Yang-sook, the widow of the president, said the money used for the apartment was “personally provided by acquaintances of the president while he was in the Blue House and after his retirement.” But Kwon refused to identify contributors.

When the prosecution summoned Jeong-yeon on Friday she told prosecutors “the money was provided by my mother and I don’t know how she made the money.”

Since 2009, the prosecution has been trying to pin down whether or not the money, 1.3 billion won ($1.14 million), for the upscale Hudson Club complex in New Jersey was from bribe money allegedly paid to the president by Park Yeon-cha, the former chairman of Taekwang Industrial, a Busan-based shoemaker. Park was one of Roh’s wealthy supporters.

The prosecution suspected that Roh attempted to buy the apartment through a man surnamed Eun, 54.

Eun received seven boxes of cash totaling 1.3 billion won from a Korean-American surnamed Lee, a former casino manager in the United States, and then exchanged the money into U.S. dollars and wired 1.1 billion won to the apartment owner surnamed Kyung, 43, from Korea.

The rest of the money (200 million won) was directly delivered to Kyung by Eun, according to the prosecutors.

The prosecution also imposed 15 million won in fines to the apartment owner Kyung.

The investigation into Roh and Park’s dealings was halted after Roh committed suicide on May 23, 2009, but was re-launched by the prosecution in February, after receiving a request made by the National Action Campaign for Freedom and Democracy in Korea, a conservative group.

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