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Samsung kept $215M slush fund, says former exec

Posted: 28 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Samsung bribery scandal? slush fund?

Former Samsung Group legal affairs officer Kim Yong-chul has come out with more details on the alleged bribery of government officials by Samsung executives.

In his latest revelations, Kim claimed the company had set up a slush fund amounting to about $215 million to bribe influential figures, reported the Yanhop News Agency. Samsung immediately denied the accusation and said it is considering legal action against Kim.

"It's nothing but a repeat of false, distorted and exaggerated claims," Samsung said in a statement.

Kim earlier this month alleged that Samsung raised a slush fund to bribe prosecutors, judges and lawmakers.

A former prosecutor, Kim told reporters that the Samsung Group used Samsung Corp.its trading armto create the pool of money through intricate contracts with other group affiliates. He said family members of Samsung Group Chair Lee Kun-hee used $65 million of the money to buy expensive art pieces.

Kim also disclosed the names of Samsung executives he claimed kept the slush fund in their bank accounts.

The National Assembly Friday approved a legislation to open an independent investigation into Kim's allegations, saying a probe already launched by prosecutors is compromised by Kim's claims that some of the prosecutors took bribes.

The bill was to go to President Roh Moo-hyun for approval, but his office has said he may veto it because state prosecutors have already launched their probe.

Kim also claimed Samsung manipulated evidence and witnesses in a court case over a purported deal that critics said was aimed at transferring corporate control of Samsung from Chairman Lee to his son.

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