BBK Scandal 'Bombshell' Fails to Explode

      November 21, 2007 10:39

      Kim Kyung-joon's wife, Lee Bo-ra flashes what she claims is a copy of a secret contract between her husband and Grand National party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak at a press conference held in Los Angeles on Tuesday. / Yonhap

      The wife and sister of the prime suspect in the so-called BBK scandal on Tuesday failed to make good their promise to reveal documents that would incriminate Grand National Party presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak.

      Having earlier threatened to disclose what they claimed were original documents showing Lee's involvement with the firms in the stock price-fixing and embezzlement scandal, they backtracked at a press conference ostensibly called to drop the bombshell.

      The wife of Kim Kyung-joon told reporters at a hotel in Los Angeles that she had in fact prepared to distribute copies of an under-the-table contract but changed her mind after watching news reports on the Korean prosecution's request for a sample signature from Lee Myung-bak.

      Lee Bo-ra said Lee Myung-bak claimed she and Kim's family had forged the contract and was denying their accusation. She said the candidate was capable of giving prosecutors a fake signature sample or changing his signature once he had seen the signature on the document to cover up his involvement. Based on this conclusion, her family decided not to reveal the original copy of the secret contract, she claimed. But she insisted Lee Myung-bak is lying about his relationship with BBK and Lke Bank, another joint business he had set up with Kim, and making her husband a scapegoat.

      However, she added a copy of the alleged under-the-table contract had already been submitted to the Korean prosecution and vowed to hand over the original to Korean prosecutors by Friday. She explained that she and her family intended to reveal the original copy at the news conference but changed their mind for "security reasons" since it was a highly important document.

      Kim's older sister Erica Kim, a U.S.-based lawyer, earlier said through an advocate there had in fact been three secret contracts between the GNP presidential nominee and her brother. She claimed Korean prosecutors would be able to confirm that the presidential candidate was the real owner of BBK if they look at all three documents, which apparently prove the circulation of investment among BBK, LKe and online securities firm EBK. Reporters had expected Erica Kim to hold the press conference, thought the family did not say who would host it.

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