Busan Mayor's Suicide Called 'Political Terror'

    February 04, 2004 09:24

    Ahn Sang-yong, the mayor of Busan, took his life after midnight Wednesday in his prison cell at the Busan Detention Center, using an undershirt to hang himself from an air vent.

    He was discovered by guards at approximately 1:03 a.m. Wednesday and taken to the hospital, but officials said he was already dead.

    Ahn was arrested in October last year on allegations that he took W100 million from the president of the Jinheung company; his trial was not yet finished. On Jan. 29 he was moved to the Seoul Detention Center following additional allegations that he received W300 million in bribes from Yi Gwang-tae, the president of Dongseon Transport, but Ahn returned to Busan on Tuesday afternoon.



    Busan city officials stand around quietly Wednesday at the Good Samsun Hospital, where the body of late Busan mayor Ahn Sang-yeong is being kept./ Yonhap


    In the meantime, Grand National Party (GNP) floor leader Hong Sa-deok said about Ahn’s suicide, “If Ahn’s had changed sides, this wouldn’t have happened. This is clearly political terror.”

    At a party meeting today, Hong said, “We feel extreme sadness and anger over Mayor Ahn’s death,” and questioned the government’s motives for putting Ahn on trial.

    Hong said that the GNP must boldly ask the government why it is participating in acts that are “close to civil unrest.” He said that he would immediately send a fact-finding mission, led by Busan’s party chief, to the southern port city.

    “Every time President Roh Moo-hyun went to Busan, he asked Mayor Ahn to join hands with him, but Ahn said that he couldn’t do so,” Choe said. Words failing him in the end, he said, Choe said that Ahn had looked very troubled, but he was surprised to see it come to this.



    Kim Chae-jeong, wife of Busan Mayor Ahn Sang-yong, after identifying his body at a hospital in Busan Wednesday morning./Yonhap
    Choe said that people, including Roh, need to ask themselves whether they have anything to say about Ahn’s death, and that he would call for every possible response to ensure that something like this does not happen again.

    At a party meeting today, Hong said “We feel extreme sadness and anger over Mayor Ahn’s death,” and questioned the government’s motives for behaving in such a way.

    Hong said that the GNP must boldly ask the government why it’s participating in acts that are “close to civil unrest.” He said that he would immediately send a fact finding mission, led by Busan’s party chief, to Busan.

    Choe said that “Every time President Roh Moo-hyun went to Busan, he asked Mayor Ahn to join hands with him, but Ahn said that he couldn’t do so.” Words failing him in the end, he said, Choe said that Ahn had looked very troubled, but he was surprised to see it come to this.

    Choe said that people, including President Roh, need to ask themselves whether they have anything to say about Ahn’s death, and that he would call for every possible response to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.





    (Kwon Kyeong-bok, kkb@chosun.com)
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