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Officials Raid Home and Office of World Taekwondo Leader

Thursday, Dec 11, 2003,Page 19
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Prosecutors raided the house and offices of Kim Un-yong, the world's taekwondo chief and an International Olympic Committee vice president, on allegations he embezzled funds from organizations connected with the martial art, Kim's aide said Wednesday.

Prosecution investigators seized a private safe and documents during Tuesday's raids, said Chung Chan-soo, an aide at Kim's National Assembly office. Kim is a national legislator affiliated with the opposition Millenium Democratic Party.

Officials at the Seoul District Prosecutors' Office declined to comment on the probe into Kim, South Korea's best-known sports official and a long-time member of the IOC.

Prosecutors suspect Kim of embezzling funds from the World Taekwondo Federation, which Kim has been heading for three decades, and from the World Taekwondo Headquarters, a Seoul-based institute that issues taekwondo credentials, Chung said.

"We cannot accept the allegations," Chung said. He could not confirm South Korean media reports that prosecutors banned Kim from traveling abroad.

Kim helped taekwondo to become a formal medal event in the Olympics in 2000. Critics later accused him of acting arbitrarily and promoting officials who were corrupt but loyal to him. Kim denied any wrongdoing.

Kim stepped down as head of South Korea's Taekwondo Association in 2001, but remains head of World Taekwondo Federation and the World Taekwondo Headquarters.


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