Responding to increasing public pressure, the South Korean government said Friday that it will reopen an investigation into whether a former president stashed away more than $500 million in slush funds.
At a meeting of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Lee Hong Koo announced the investigation into allegations that former President Roh Tae Woo had amassed the money during his term in office.
"The government will conduct an investigation to clear citizens' suspicions. The probe will begin immediately," Lee's spokesman quoted him as saying. The spokesman said the decision was reached at a meeting of top ministers Thursday.
On the same day, opposition lawmaker Park Kye Dong brandished documents in Parliament that he said proved that military-backed President Roh was illegally holding more than $500 million in slush funds in 40 false or borrowed-name bank accounts. Saying his information came from commercial bankers and individuals who had lent Roh their accounts, Park demanded an immediate investigation.
Roh's office has denied the allegations.