Convict in BBK scandal unable serve to US
The Ministry of Justice said Friday that it will continue to detain a Korean-American serving a 10-year jail term for his central role in the so-called BBK scandal involving President Lee Myung-bak.
It said a transfer of the prisoner, Kim Kyung-joon, 46, to America is under review following a request from the U.S. government in October 2011 to hand him over.
The ministry, however, said Kim who was also slapped with a 10 billion won ($8,855,040) fine and must pay this or serve an additional 500-day prison term.
The Korean-American requested the ministry to transfer him to a U.S. prison in November 2009 after the Supreme Court ruled against him in a case over the high-profile stock-rigging scandal involving a now-defunct BBK investment firm.
Kim said he wants to serve his sentences in California where his family lives.
The ministry notified the U.S. government of his request in accordance with the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
The convention allows the transfer of a foreign prisoner among its member nations, including both Korea and the U.S, if the convict wants to serve a jail term in his or her country.
All of the member countries are required to approve transfer of the prisoner.
And the ministry said the process is “not possible” until he pays the fine or serves punitive prison labor for 500 days following his 10-year jail term.
An official said a prisoner is often exempted from fulfilling such duties once he or she spends three years in jail. He added that it is possible that Kim also may be given an excuse when he goes back to the U.S.
“We’re discussing how we’ll deal with Kim to let him fulfill such conditions. We’ll then make the decision regarding his status,” the ministry said.
Kim, however, claimed that the ministry rejected his request to complete his 500-day punitive prison labor before he finishes his 10-year jail term.
He came to Korea in December 2007 during the presidential campaign. The Korean-American’s presence was deemed as a huge blow for then-leading candidate Lee, as Kim claimed that Lee was involved in the stock-rigging scandal that rocked the country.