Prosecutors Ask Assembly Aid On Kang

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Prosecutors Ask Assembly Aid On Kang

The Supreme Public Prosecutors Office submitted a request for consent to the National Assembly on Thursday, seeking the arrest of Rep. Kang Sam-jae, a vice president of the opposition Grand National Party.

The Seoul District Court issued the request and the Ministry of Justice delivered it to the legislature. It must vote to approve the arrest of a lawmaker during a session.

The prosecution asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Kang on Wednesday on charges that he not only received funds from the state intelligence agency on behalf of his party but also used them for personal purposes.

Sources close to the investigation said the prosecution has secured statement from former New Korea Party officials that they received money from the National Security Planning Agency and distributed it to candidates in the 1996 general election at Mr. Kang's order.

The New Korea Party is the predecessor of the Grand National Party.

Reacting to the news, Mr. Kang said he would turn himself in to the prosecution if an investigation into what he described as President Kim Dae-jung's slush funds and accumulation of illegal wealth takes place simultaneously. Mr. Kang twice refused the prosecution's call for questioning this week.

The prosecution believes questioning Mr. Kang is vital in finding out whether the Blue House or the upper echelons of the then-ruling New Korea Party were involved in the funneling of funds in 1996.

The prosecution said it has yet to find out how Mr. Kang and Kim Ki-sup, money manager at the spy agency, passed the funds.

by Shin Dong-jae

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