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   Prosecutors indict superintendent
   3856    2009-01-20
Source : Joongang Daily

January 14, 2009

Prosecutors indicted Seoul education office superintendent Kong Jung-tack and Konkuk University professor Jou Kyong-bok on Monday for allegedly accepting illegal campaign contributions. Neither suspect was detained.

Both men ran for the Seoul education superintendent’s post in July 2008.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office charged the 75-year-old Kong with violating campaign funding law. He allegedly borrowed about 109.8 million won ($81,152) interest-free from Choi Myung-ok, a senior executive of a hagwon, a private education institute, called Jongro M School.

Kong was also indicted for failing to register a bank account containing 400 million won that was kept in Choi’s name when he filed his asset statement with the state election commission. The statement is required before a candidate can run for public office.

The money actually belongs to Kong’s wife, Yuk, according to prosecutors. In his registration, Kong told the commission that he borrowed a total of 509.8 million won from Choi.

“Yuk made it look like she borrowed the money from Choi to avoid suspicion over the source of the money,” said a prosecutor who asked not to be named. Prosecutors are still investigating how Yuk collected the money. Prosecutors, however, cleared Kong of allegations that he offered favors to school meal providers and private school owners in return for donations and borrowed money.

Jou, 59, who lost the superintendent race to Kong in July, was also indicted for receiving a total of 890 million won from the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union. The teacher’s union is prohibited from engaging in political activity.

Prosecutors also indicted nine senior members of the union’s Seoul branch for allegedly raising illegal campaign funds for Jou.

By Park Yu-mi JoongAng Ilbo

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