Prosecutors Indict 2 Former Senior KT Executives for Unauthorized Satellite Sale
kpride, Nov. 25, 2014, 9:32 a.m.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office indicted two former senior KT executives for selling a homegrown satellite to a foreign company without government authorization, a spokesman said on Monday.
The two are charged with selling the Mugunghwa-3 satellite to ABS of Hong Kong for US$20.85 million in April 2010 without government approval, according to prosecutors. The satellite, which provided broadcasting and communications services from a geostationary orbit 36,000 km above the equator since September 1999, completed its 12-year lifespan in September 2011.
But with about 10 years of remaining fuel life, it was expected to serve as backup for successors. KT should have sought authorization from the the government before selling the satellite since it is classified as having strategic value.
The executives are not accused of taking bribes. The government told KT in December last year that the sales contract was null and void, and the company has been in international arbitral proceedings to buy back the satellite. The Hong Kong firm is demanding a much higher price to sell it back.