Roh 'Insists US$1 Million Was to Repay Debt'

      May 06, 2009 10:12

      Former president Roh Moo-hyun told prosecutors last week that US$1 million his wife Kwon Yang-sook received from Park Yeon-cha, a wealthy supporter who is under arrest for bribing senior government officials, was for the repayment of a "natural obligation."

      "Natural obligation" is a term dating from Roman Law that refers to debts to which honor and conscience bind a person but which cannot be enforced in a court of justice.

      Prosecutors then asked Roh where his wife had spent the money and why she took the $1 million from Park if she had no contractual obligation to repay those debts. Eventually Roh said he would have to ask his wife again, according to a prosecution source.

      But prosecutors allege that $300,000 of the $1 million was transferred to Roh's son Kun-ho and daughter Jeong-yeon, who were in the U.S. at that time. They could summon Kwon for questioning again to find out where she really spent the money.

      Meanwhile, the Central Investigation Department of the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday said it will resume a probe of former and incumbent lawmakers and local government leaders who allegedly took bribes from Park as early as this week.

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