Former President Lee's ex-business partner gets treatment for skin cancer

May 8, 2013 11:27 am 

SEOUL, May 8 — A former business partner of ex-President Lee Myung-bak is being treated for a non-aggressive skin cancer while serving a prison term, a Justice Ministry official said on Wednesday.

The convicted businessman, Kim Kyoung-joon, was at the center of a case widely known as the "BBK scandal" named after a firm set up by Kim and Lee in 2000. The scandal broke at the height of the 2007 presidential race when the Korean-American claimed Lee was involved in an investment scam.

Kim, who is currently serving an eight-year prison term for stock manipulation and embezzlement, received a procedure to remove a small tumor and was later diagnosed with basal-cell carcinoma after a biopsy, the official said.

Basal-cell carcinoma, one of the three main types of skin cancer, is very slow-growing and almost never spreads to other parts of the body.

"Kim spoke of symptoms that looked like a dot on the upper part of his nose and the middle of the forehead last October and he has since taken a biopsy," the official said, adding that Kim is scheduled to receive another surgery and a second round of chemotherapy at a Seoul hospital sometime soon.

In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld Kim's prison term for embezzling money from investors in one of his firms and manipulating the company's stock prices in 2001.

Kim, who was extradited from the United States in late 2007 to face trial in South Korea on embezzlement charges, used a forged contract to claim that Lee had collaborated in the fraud scheme.

The prosecution cleared Lee of wrongdoing before the election, and a separate probe by a special counsel again cleared him of the allegations following the election. Lee eventually won the election by a landslide in spite of the scandal.(PNA/Yonhap)

GHG/JNC

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