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KT chief grilled about controversial appointment of advisers

Politics 11:08 October 11, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) -- The chief of South Korean telecom giant KT Corp. was questioned by police Friday about an allegation that he hired a number of management advisers for lobbying purposes.

KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu appeared at the National Police Agency (NPA) headquarters in central Seoul at 7:10 a.m. before being grilled about suspicions that his company has paid huge sums to 14 influential figures from politics, the military, the police and government since his inauguration in 2014 to work as lobbyists for the telecom company, according to police sources.

In March, a KT labor union and a civic group filed a complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, alleging KT has paid a total of 2 billion won (US$1.68 million) in consultancy fees to the 14 advisers appointed by the KT chief. Their complaint also said that the advisers, including some deemed unqualified, were mobilized for various lobbying purposes, accusing Hwang of breach of trust.

The prosecution asked the police to launch an investigation into the case the following month, and the NPA raided KT's head office in downtown Seoul in July. Police investigators last month questioned two ranking KT executives as part of the probe.

The ongoing investigation will be focused on why and how the advisers were appointed, as well as the charge of breach of trust against Hwang, according to a source well informed about the probe.


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