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SEOUL, South Korea — Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, embroiled in a broadening corruption scandal, died Saturday after jumping from a mountain cliff behind his rural southern home. He left behind a suicide note, his lawyer said.
Roh, 62, had been hiking in the village of Bongha Saturday morning when he threw himself off the mountainside, lawyer Moon Jae-in told reporters.
He was rushed to Busan National University Hospital in the nearby port city of Busan around 8:15 a.m. (2315 GMT) and died around 9:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) from head injuries, hospital officials said.
It was confirmed that there was no bodyguard present when the former President Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide on May 23. Accordingly, police have launched a reinvestigation of what the former president was doing on the day of suicide.
"It may be that the bodyguard sent by the Cheong Wa Dae was not present when the former president threw himself from ‘Owl Rock,’” an official of the Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office in South Korea or Blue House) said on Tuesday. “The bodyguard failed to find him and created a false story,” the official added.
A police official said, “The bodyguard has changed his account of his whereabouts several times, and we have summoned him again to the South Gyungsang Police Agency for further questioning.”
The police have secured the content of a radio communications report to the Cheong Wa Dae in which the bodyguard said, “I missed him. I cannot see him.” Another police official confirmed the content, but said, “We do not know when the radio communication took place. We will find that out through further investigation.”