Two former chiefs of large local builders on Thursday received suspended jail sentences for collusion in the former Lee Myung-bak administration’s highly controversial project to refurbish the country’s four major rivers.
The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Kim Jung-gyeom, former chief of Hyundai Construction & Engineering Co., to eight months in jail with a one-year stay of execution. Seo Jong-wuk, the ex-president of Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., was given a jail term of one and a half years suspended for two years.
Son Mun-yeong, a former executive of Hyundai Construction & Engineering, was imprisoned after being sentenced to two years in jail.
They were found guilty of orchestrating the collusion to clinch bids for the mega-budget project, leading to unfair competition and wasting taxpayers’ money.
“It is recognized that they rigged the bidding seeking immediate gains even though ensuring transparency of the project was particularly essential due to high public attention to it,”
Judge Cheon Dae-yeop of the court said in a verdict.
The 3.8 trillion won ($3.53 billion) project, pushed by the former Lee government, was completed last year amid mounting criticism over its economic viability and negative environmental impact.
The three were among the 22 former and incumbent executives of
11 local builders, also including GS Engineering & Construction Co., SK Engineering & Construction Co. and Samsung C&T Corp, indicted in September last year in connection with the collusion scandal.
The accused construction firms were slapped with fines ranging from 50 million won to 75 million won. (Yonhap)