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Former head of state-funded institute under investigation for fraud

Former head of state-funded institute under investigation for fraud

Posted May. 21, 2013 06:39,   


Lim Gyeong-muk, 58, former Chairman of Institute for National Security Strategy, is said to have been accused of fraud and under investigation by prosecutors of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors` Office. Lim reportedly cheated people by insisting that he was close to former President Lee Myung-bak. Former National Police Agency Commissioner Cho Hyun-oh (photo, 58) pointed Lim as the one who first mentioned about the allegation that late former President Roh Moo-hyun created a slush fund.

Lim was sued in June last year on charges of receiving about 600 million won (536,000 U.S. dollars) over the period of two years from one of his high school alma mater. The person said in a written complaint, “In February 2008, I met Lim at a restaurant in southern Seoul. At the restaurant he said he was one of the six closest aides to President Lee Myung-bak, and he would help me win a lot of construction orders. He said there was nothing I should be worry about, and he would make me rich in Gangnam area.” Since then, Lim had received more than 600 million won until August 2010 for overseas travel expenses, car purchase and facility construction of his son’s plant.

The so-called “Six-People Council” was the highest decision-making body of the election camp for the former president in 2007. The council members include former lawmakers Lee Sang-deuk, Park Hee-tae, Choi See-joong, Kim Deok-ryong and Lee Jae-oh.

The plaintiff said he began asking Lim to give his money back in 2011 after failing many bids to win construction orders and received 40 million won (36,000 dollars) back from a friend of Lim last January.

Lim said to police, “I never said I was a close aide to the former president and received no money from the construction contractor. I have nothing to do with the 40 million won (36,000 dollars). That money was wages that the constructor had paid to the friend, and the friend just returned the wages back to him.”

Seoul Central District Prosecutors` Office dropped the case last December for lack of evidence, but the construction company head made an appeal to the Seoul High Prosecutor’s Office in February this year. The prosecutor’s office ordered in March a resume of investigation into the fraud charge.

This case has been pushed into the lime light because of some similarities in the statements made by the former police chief and the construction contractor. The former police chief said April 23, “I believed what Lim said because he had more information than me, and he was one of those who met the president in person. He also knew high-ranking police officials and prosecutors well.” Lim, however, denied this and said he had never met the president in person.

Lim told the Dong-A Ilbo over the phone, “What the construction contractor said is not true. I even sued him for a false accusation but withdrew the case to give him a favor.”