Rep. Kang Indicted without Arrest over Illegal Campaign Funds
The prosecution yesterday indicted an opposition party lawmaker and former deputy director of the nation's spy agency for diverting the state budget to provide illegal campaign funds to about 200 candidates of the then ruling New Korea Party (NKP) during the 1995 local and 1996 general elections.
Rep. Kang Sam-jae of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) was indicted without physical detention on charges of depleting the state coffers and receiving illegal funds which were diverted from the national budget by the Agency for National Security Planning (NSP).
Kang, the former NKP secretary and chief campaign manager, is accused of receiving 94 billion won from Kim Ki-sop, ex-deputy NSP director during the two elections. The NKP was headed by former president Kim Young-sam.
The prosecution has been trying to arrest Rep. Kang in a desperate attempt to bring light to the illegal funding scandal. It requested the National Assembly to approve his arrest early this month.
The attempt by the prosecution to arrest Kang has been met by a strong backlash from the GNP, the successor to the NKP, sparking a sudden political standoff between the opposition party and the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP).
Thus, the indictment of Kang without detention was seen as a move by the prosecution to wrap up the case without arresting him in order to prevent the current political confrontation between the GNP and the MDP from escalating.
The prosecution has virtually given up its plan to arrest Kang. It is now up to the court to make a final decision to arrest him or not.
``We had planned to indict Kang after the National Assembly approved his arrest. But we are indicting him today because the statute of limitations is scheduled to expire at the end of this month,'' said a prosecutor.
Former NSP deputy director Kim was also indicted for misappropriating state funds of 119.2 billion won ($93.69 million) for the purpose of providing 25.2 billion won and 94 billion won in illegal campaign funds during the 1995 local and 1996 general elections, respectively. He was also accused of intervening in the political process.
Meanwhile, the prosecution has decided not to indict 200 NKP candidates, most of them now GNP lawmakers and party members, because they were found to have received the campaign funds without knowing that the money came from the NSP, now renamed National Intelligence Service (NIS). …