Roh’s Son Faces Summons
Prosecutors plan to summon former President Roh Moo-hyun's son, Geon-ho, today or tomorrow after finding evidence that the $1 million given by Taekwang CEO Park Yeon-cha to the ex-presidential couple was used for his overseas study.
His father allegedly asked for the money from the businessman to give it to his son while the junior Roh was studying in the United States in 2007. The CEO delivered the greenbacks to the former President in June that year through Taekwang officials at Cheong Wa Dae, prosecutors said Friday.
The senior Roh was said to have given the cash to his son during a stopover in Seattle en route to Guatemala where he campaigned for PyeongChang's bid for the Winter Olympiad. The junior Roh was taking an MBA course at Stanford University.
The prosecution believes the money was used to cover tuition and living costs.
The 36-year-old ― an employee of LG Electronics ― was also confirmed to have accompanied Yeon Cheol-ho, the husband of former President Roh's niece, on a trip to Taekwang's factory in Vietnam in late 2007 in apparent pressure on the Taekwang CEO to provide $5 million to his cousin.
The junior Roh, however, said the trip to Vietnam was a mere field trip to learn about a successful overseas Korean company.
Meanwhile, Yeon was detained Friday for receiving $5 million in February 2008 from the Taekwang CEO.
Prosecutors said they apprehended Yeon at his apartment in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province, at around 7 a.m. They speculate the funds he received via a bank account in Hong Kong during Roh's presidency were delivered to the former head of state.
But former President Roh denied his involvement in the deal. The former President's in-law has claimed Park invested the money in his business.
Prosecutors also raided Yeon's home and office and confiscated computer files and documents.
Investigators said they have yet to confirm a report that the junior Roh is a key shareholder of Yeon's start-up company.
Meanwhile, a key member of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) admitted that he received 50 million won in department store gift certificates from Park.
``I won't deny the allegations. I testified to prosecutors in detail and believe that they will judge whether it will be a problem or not," Ahn Hee-jung, a member of DP's Supreme Council, told Yonhap News agency.
Ahn, a longtime confidant of Roh, was convicted of having received 6.5 billion won from businesses ahead of the 2002 presidential election. He was released from prison in December 2004 after serving one year.
The Seoul Central District Court rejected the prosecution's request of issuing a warrant to arrest former presidential secretary Chung Sang-moon, citing lack of evidence. Chung is suspected of having received a briefcase containing $1 million in cash from Chung Seung-young, aide to the Taekwnag CEO.