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Posted : 2008-10-10 18:37
Updated : 2008-10-10 18:37

Former PM Secretary Kim Dead in Apparent Suicide


The late
Kim Yung-chul
By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

A former secretary of Prime Minister Han Seung-soo was found dead at his house Friday, several days after he resigned from his post over bribery allegations. Kim Yung-chul, former deputy head of the Prime Minister's office, was found to have hung himself with a necktie in his bathroom in Ilweon-dong, southern Seoul, Friday morning.

Police said his daughter called the police when she realized her father had been in the bathroom too long. Kim left a note reading, ``Honey, I love you, I am sorry. I am leaving because things are too hard.''

Police assume concerns over the upcoming investigation contributed to the death. Kim was alleged to have received tens of millions of won from energy-saver maker Kenertec while serving as president of the Korea Midland Power Co. from 2002 to 2005. The allegations appeared during a probe into Kenertec, which is accused of handing out bribes to win contracts at the local casino Kangwon Land.

The prosecution said that Kim hadn't even been told when he would be summoned for questioning.

Kim was regarded as Prime Minister Han's right hand man, assisting him for 20 years. He started his public servant life in 1973 and served in key positions through the 80s and 90s, being praised as an expert in the energy field.

Kim is the latest high-profile figure to commit suicide during a police or prosecution investigation. In 2004, former Busan mayor Ahn Sang-young killed himself in prison followed by Nam Sang-guk, former president of Daewoo Construction who jumped into the Han River while being investigated for bribery. Park Tae-young, former governor of South Jeolla Province, killed himself shortly after a bribery case in 2005.

bjs@koreatimes.co.kr

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