By Jung Min-ho
The prosecution will request an arrest warrant next week for Park Bum-hoon, a former senior presidential secretary for education, for allegedly abusing his authority and embezzling funds.
Prosecutors are focusing on Park’s alleged ties to Chung-Ang University, Doosan Group and Woori Bank.
During 19 hours of questioning at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office from Thursday to Friday morning, prosecutors grilled him over 18 billion won ($1.6 million) he received from Doosan through a questionable foundation, Mootsori, where he is the chief director
Park was a university president before taking the secretary job in 2011 under the previous Lee Myung-bak administration.
Investigators suspect that the company bribed him for helping Chung-Ang integrate its Seoul and Anseong campuses in 2012 by pressuring the Ministry of Education to approve the merger plan. Thanks to him, Doosan, which owns the school, is suspected of saving tens of billions of won because it didn’t have to secure more land as the ministry initially required.
During the questioning, Park reportedly said he directly asked former Doosan President Lee Tae-hee for “investment aice” in March of 2011, just before he started work at Cheong Wa Dae.
Park is also suspected of being given ownership of a 300-million-won shopping area in Doosan Tower, central Seoul, in 2011, under the name of his wife.
He has also been accused of abusing power to get a non-executive director post at Doosan Engine in March of last year, while his daughter was given a professor position at Chung-Ang under questionable circumstances.
Prosecutors are looking into whether Park Yong-sung, who resigned last week as chairman the university foundation and Doosan Heavy Industries amp Construction, was directly involved in the scheme.
In addition, Park is under suspicion of embezzling part of 10 billion won in “donations” from Woori in 2008.
Prosecutors suspect that he gave the bank exclusive rights to run business at Chung-Ang’s two campuses when he was university president in exchange for the “donation. ” But they found that he used a dubious account to receive the money.
Prosecutors reportedly found clues that part of the money was not used for the school.
Investigators are looking into how exactly the money was used and whether the selection process for the contract was fair
As he walked out of the prosecutor’s office at 5 am Friday, Park refused to answer questions about the allegations. Park just noted that he “sincerely cooperated. ”
Park is expected to face charges of abusing authority, receiving bribes and embezzlement.
SOURCE: The Korea Times