Prosecutors say Ban Ki-moon was 'indeed on bribery list'

Settings

ⓕ font-size

  • -2
  • -1
  • 0
  • +1
  • +2

Prosecutors say Ban Ki-moon was 'indeed on bribery list'

By Jun Ji-hye

Former and incumbent prosecutors have testified that they saw Ban Ki-moon's name on a bribery list local businessman Park Yeon-cha had submitted to the prosecution in 2009, according to media reports Wednesday.

The testimony is expected to add fuel to the bribery suspicions which have emerged as a serious challenge to the former U.N. chief in running for the presidency, although he flatly denied them.

"Indeed, Ban was on the bribery list," a prosecutor said, according to the Hankyoreh daily. "It is an undeniable fact that Ban was among the figures who the businessman claimed to have bribed."

This claim was also backed by former prosecutors, the daily reported.

Upon returning home, Ban denied the bribery allegations, Jan. 12, after completing his job at the United Nations. At the airport, he told reporters, "I can not understand why my name is being mentioned regarding the Park Yeon-cha case. Park is an utter stranger to me. There was no relationship between him and me."

Park, former chairman of Taekwang Industry, was at the center of a bribery scandal involving the late President Roh Moo-hyun and his aides. Park reportedly told prosecutors that he gave Ban $230,000 in bribes in 2005 while he was serving as the foreign minister in the Roh government.

The latest reports said Park made a list on his own and submitted it to prosecutors through his then lawyer, Park Young-soo, who is currently leading the investigation team as an independent counsel to look into the corruption and influence-peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

The report also said the list is believed to carry considerable reliability as the businessman was not forced by the prosecutors to draw it up, but did so on his own. The report added that the prosecutors were not aware of Ban's alleged involvement in the bribery scandal until the businessman submitted the list.

It is unclear whether prosecutors were trying to investigate Ban after the list was submitted, but it is generally believed that it would have been hard for them to do so as he was serving as the U.N. secretary-general at the time of the investigation.

The prosecution officials told the newspaper that the list may still remain at the prosecution as any attempts to destroy it will become a crime it is destruction of evidence.

Jung Cheong-rae, former lawmaker of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), said Ban should bring a libel suit against the Hankyoreh newspaper if he is confident of his innocence.

"Ban should file a libel suit so that the prosecutors can launch an investigation into whether his name was included on the list or not," he said. "It will be very weird if Ban does not file a lawsuit."



New suspicions against brother



Meanwhile, Inner City Press, an online media outlet, raised a new allegation, Tuesday, that Ban's brother, Ban Ki-ho, had inappropriately used the international organization's name to exploit the world body's influence for his business in Myanmar.

Ban's supporter called the reports groundless, warning that Ban would consider taking legal action against them.

"We will seek all legal measures, both civil and criminal, against false reports," the supporter said, declining to be named.

Opposition lawmakers criticized Ban for various allegations involving members of his family, citing another brother and nephew who were recently indicted on bribery charges in New York.

DPK Chairwoman Rep. Choo Mi-ae said, "Corruption cases involving Ban's relatives have continued to come out. The international community is paying keen attention whether Ban continues the corruptions of President Park."

By Jun Ji-hye

Former and incumbent prosecutors have testified that they saw Ban Ki-moon's name on a bribery list local businessman Park Yeon-cha had submitted to the prosecution in 2009, according to media reports Wednesday.

The testimony is expected to add fuel to the bribery suspicions which have emerged as a serious challenge to the former U.N. chief in running for the presidency, although he flatly denied them.

"Indeed, Ban was on the bribery list," a prosecutor said, according to the Hankyoreh daily. "It is an undeniable fact that Ban was among the figures who the businessman claimed to have bribed."

This claim was also backed by former prosecutors, the daily reported.

Upon returning home, Ban denied the bribery allegations, Jan. 12, after completing his job at the United Nations. At the airport, he told reporters, "I can not understand why my name is being mentioned regarding the Park Yeon-cha case. Park is an utter stranger to me. There was no relationship between him and me."

Park, former chairman of Taekwang Industry, was at the center of a bribery scandal involving the late President Roh Moo-hyun and his aides. Park reportedly told prosecutors that he gave Ban $230,000 in bribes in 2005 while he was serving as the foreign minister in the Roh government.

The latest reports said Park made a list on his own and submitted it to prosecutors through his then lawyer, Park Young-soo, who is currently leading the investigation team as an independent counsel to look into the corruption and influence-peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

The report also said the list is believed to carry considerable reliability as the businessman was not forced by the prosecutors to draw it up, but did so on his own. The report added that the prosecutors were not aware of Ban's alleged involvement in the bribery scandal until the businessman submitted the list.

It is unclear whether prosecutors were trying to investigate Ban after the list was submitted, but it is generally believed that it would have been hard for them to do so as he was serving as the U.N. secretary-general at the time of the investigation.

The prosecution officials told the newspaper that the list may still remain at the prosecution as any attempts to destroy it will become a crime it is destruction of evidence.

Jung Cheong-rae, former lawmaker of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), said Ban should bring a libel suit against the Hankyoreh newspaper if he is confident of his innocence.

"Ban should file a libel suit so that the prosecutors can launch an investigation into whether his name was included on the list or not," he said. "It will be very weird if Ban does not file a lawsuit."



New suspicions against brother



Meanwhile, Inner City Press, an online media outlet, raised a new allegation, Tuesday, that Ban's brother, Ban Ki-ho, had inappropriately used the international organization's name to exploit the world body's influence for his business in Myanmar.

Ban's supporter called the reports groundless, warning that Ban would consider taking legal action against them.

"We will seek all legal measures, both civil and criminal, against false reports," the supporter said, declining to be named.

Opposition lawmakers criticized Ban for various allegations involving members of his family, citing another brother and nephew who were recently indicted on bribery charges in New York.

DPK Chairwoman Rep. Choo Mi-ae said, "Corruption cases involving Ban's relatives have continued to come out. The international community is paying keen attention whether Ban continues the corruptions of President Park."

Jun Ji-hye jjh@koreatimes.co.kr


Top 10 Stories

X
CLOSE

LETTER

Sign up for eNewsletter