translated from the JoongAng Ilbo:
A Buddhist group said yesterday that it had raised funds of 60 billion won ($65 million) for use by the disgraced stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk to continue his research.
Seol Jeong, a Buddhist monk, told a press conference at Bongeun Temple in southern Seoul, “Three Buddhists have decided to donate 45 billion won in cash and real estate worth 15 billion won to Dr. Hwang.”
The donors, Venerable Seol said, were worried that Dr. Hwang’s “world-renowned technology in animal cloning” would slip away to other countries. He said the money had not yet been delivered and identified the donors only as two businessmen and a temple head monk.
Dr. Hwang was fired from Seoul National University in March, and the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office has promised “in the near future” a long-delayed announcement of the results of its investigation into the data fabrications in two scientific journal articles in 2004 and last year.
The monk said the donations do not represent official support from Buddhist organizations here. Lee Geon-haeng, Dr. Hwang’s lawyer, said the researcher has not decided whether to accept the gift.
Separately, Seoul National University has filed a police complaint against about 10 supporters of Dr. Hwang who have been demonstrating daily since February at the university’s headquarters building. The university said the group has been cursing and threatening university officials who participated in an internal investigation of Dr. Hwang’s research. Chung Un-chan, the president of the university, and Roe Jung-hye, an academic who participated in the investigation, were the protesters’ main targets, and said they would also seek a restraining order.
by Chung Kang-hyun, Park Sung-woo