Disgraced Cloning Scientist Had High Hopes for Libya Contract

The disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk visited Libya as part of a W150 billion project in the North African country to build a stem cell research center and transfer relevant technology, aides said Sunday (US$1=W1,127). But the project was canceled when bloody nationwide protests erupted there.

Hwang was spotted by reporters at Tripoli International Airport on Friday waiting to board a chartered flight sent by the government to evacuate Koreans living there.

Hyun Sang-hwan, the director of the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation led by Hwang, said Hwang was in Libya to sign a cooperative contract with a company there called DANA Bioscience and Medical Service. According to Hyun, DANA BMS was recently established by the Libyan government to cooperate in research with Hwang and is headed by the head of Libya's police hospital.

The five-year contract was to be worth W153 billion or 98.5 million euros to be used to build a clinic and research lab near Tripoli and fund its operation. "The signing was scheduled for Feb. 20 but canceled due to the protests," Hyun said. "It remains unclear whether the contract will be signed."

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 28, 2011 13:14 KST