Suspected bribe to pizzeria owner lands Korean president's son in jail

July 9, 2002

SEOUL, Korea -- The Supreme Public Prosecutors' Office of Korea reported on July 7 it has evidence that a former national tax commissioner had links to President Kim Dae-jung's second son, Kim Hong-up, who is in jail on corruption charges.

According to The Korea Herald, the prosecution received testimonies that Kim Hong-up asked Ahn Jung-nam, former commissioner of the National Tax Service (NTS), to shield Mr. Pizza, a two-store franchise, from a tax audit.

The president of Mr. Pizza, whose last name is Jung, allegedly asked Kim Hong-up to talk the Seoul District Tax Service out of auditing his company in November 2000. Jung is suspected of giving Kim Sung-hwan, a friend of Kim Hong-up, 100 million won (U.S. $85,000) when he asked the President's son to help him in the case.

The prosecution summoned officials of the NTS to question whether they exercised influence in connection with the audit of the Mr. Pizza firm.

Prosecutors also want to investigate the NTS's Ahn, who fled Korea last November when suspicion arose concerning his real estate transactions.

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