Court rejects Roh's claim to brother's firm
The Supreme Court Friday upheld a lower court decision Friday that rejected former President Roh Tae-woo’s claim to a company founded by his younger brother with money from a slush fund created by the former.
The court said the 79-year-old ex-president has no right to claim shares in the cold storage warehouse established by his brother Roh-Jae-woo, 77, with 12 billion won ($10.4 million) that the elder Roh secretly asked him to manage.
“It’s true that the money came from the elder Roh, but there is no convincing evidence that he entrusted his brother to set up and run the company on his behalf,” Justice Park Byoung-dae said. “The court therefore finds it right to uphold the previous ruling that turned down his appeal to acknowledge him as the major shareholder of the firm.”
The former president handed 12 billion won, part of a 262.8 billion won ($227.3 million) slush fund, to the younger Roh during his five-year presidency from 1988.
The succeeding government launched an investigation into Roh in 1995 and discovered the slush fund. It has so far confiscated 234.4 billion won.
Roh Jae-woo has run the cold storage warehouse, Aurora CS, since 1989. And his son, who has served as CEO of the firm, sold land owned by the company in 2004 in a bid to avoid possible confiscation of assets.
Roh Tae-woo filed a suit against both his brother and nephew, claiming that they sold the land without his consent. He demanded that they should also recognize him as the founder and let him exercise rights over all 164,000 shares of the warehouse.
In a separate incident early this month, the former president accused an in-law of allegedly misappropriating 23 billion won ($20 million), also part of his slush fund.
He told the prosecution that the in-law used the money without his permission for personal benefit.