Roh 'Bought Manhattan Apartment with Bribe'

      May 13, 2009 09:13

      Former president Roh Moo-hyun and his family bought an apartment worth US$1.6 million in Manhattan with money given to Roh by wealthy supporter Park Yeon-cha, prosecutors alleged Tuesday. Prosecutors said Park, the CEO of Taekwang Industry, gave Roh altogether $1.4 million and another $5 million to his relatives.

      They claimed in September 2007, about two months after he delivered $1 million to Cheong Wa Dae, Park at Roh's request transferred $400,000 from bank accounts of APC, a Hong Kong-based company owned by Park, to a real estate agent in Manhattan with whom Roh's daughter Jeong-yeon (34) was acquainted. Jeong-yeon, who lived in New York at that time, was questioned Monday.

      Prosecutors claim she testified that she used the money as a deposit to buy a home with swimming pool in Manhattan in her name.

      The apartment building in New York where former president Roh Moo-hyun's daughter bought a unit. /Courtesy of trulia.com

      But prosecutors believe the actual owner is Roh's son Geon-ho (36), since Park sent the $400,000 to Roh in addition to the $1 million he gave him in late June 2007. Roh allegedly asked Park to send him money to buy a home for his son.

      Prosecutors plan to bring an additional charge. They hope to question Roh's wife Kwon Yang-sook again to find out how Geon-ho bought the home and how much of the $1.4 million from Park was used on it.

      But Moon Jae-in, a former Cheong Wa Dae chief of staff and a close associate of Roh's, said the $400,000 was a mere part of the $1 million Roh received in June 2007.

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