Nongshim pick gives up candidacy

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Nongshim pick gives up candidacy

Former Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Ra Eung-chan, who allegedly claimed he was suffering from dementia to avoid a prosecutorial probe into a management feud he was involved in five years ago, has given up his candidacy for a position as an outside director at Nongshim.

The processed food and confectionery company said Tuesday that the 77-year old ex-chairman has voluntarily stepped down as a candidate. It added that it did not know the details of the withdrawal.

Last Thursday, Nongshim announced that Ra will officially take up the outside director role once the proposal was approved at a shareholders’ meeting next month.

But the announcement quickly became controversial because of Ra’s alleged claim in 2010 that he was suffering from dementia, which got him off the hook from a prosecutorial investigation into a top management feud that resulted in the resignation of the three head executives at Shinhan Financial Group, including Ra.

On hearing the news about Ra’s new position, leading civic group the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy released a public statement on Monday in which said the prosecution “made the excuse” that Ra is suffering from dementia as an explanation for why it was not continuing its investigation into the Shinhan management feud.

“We cannot but ask if the prosecutors will continue to delay the judicial act and investigation against the former chairman although he was boldly appointed as an outside director of Nongshim,” the civic group said in its statement.

BY LEE HYUN-TAEK [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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