Korea’s largest lawyers’ association on Thursday requested the prosecution investigate former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon for a breach of duty in connection with the project to build artificial islands on the Han River.
The Korean Bar Association’s special committee on local tax abuse investigation announced the result of its probe into the 139 billion won ($128 million) Sebit floating island construction project.
“There were many irregularities in the Sebit project, such as the lack of metropolitan council’s agreement, lack of legal basis for the project, public enterprise SH Corp’s involvement in a private profit-making project, impropriety in the budget alteration confirmation process, and other toxic clauses,” the committee said.
The association filed the petition soon with the prosecution to investigate 12 officials including Oh and SH Corp president.
The floating islands had been proposed by former mayor Oh as a part of his Han River Renaissance Project.
The extravagant project, touted as the world’s largest artificial island, was to host a convention center, culture complex and water sports facility on each of the three islands.
Construction began in 2003 and the island was partially opened to the public in 2011. A string of audits in 2011 revealed that the projects was flawed in design and lacked economic feasibility. In addition, an audit in 2012 ruled that as the project did not get the municipal council’s approval, it was invalid.
The former mayor resigned in August 2011 amid a dispute over free school meal services.
By Lee Sang-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org