Doubt cast on “suicide” of Daewoo executive in Iraq

Police in Iraq have launched an investigation into the death of a senior director at Daewoo Engineering & Construction, who was found hanging in the company’s compound in the southern city of Basra on Friday.

The Iraqi authorities initially ruled the death of Park Chul-Ho to be a case of suicide, however Adnan Al Sarayfi, a legal consultant for Daewoo, said the death appeared to be suspicious, and called for an inquiry.

Karim al-Kaabi, deputy speaker of Iraq’s parliament, also called for an inquiry.

He said in a statement published by Iraqi News Agency: "What raises our surprise is that the suicide case of the director of the company came after the official announcement of the Ministry of Transport a few days ago about the imminent signing of the contract for the first phase of the large port of Faw with this Korean company and the completion of reaching the final version."

A committee has now been formed by the Ministry of the Interior to look into the incident. Walid al-Sharif, the mayor of al-Faw district in Basra, said they would examine CCTV footage and logs of who had entered the Daewoo compound.

Park is the second South Korean executive to die in Iraq. Last year, the director of STX, which was building power stations and turbines, also died by suicide.

Daewoo is to work on the Al Faw Grand Port project, which will involve building breakwaters, births and docks with the aim of turning the port into an alternative to Umm Qasr, at present the country’s only deepwater port.

Image: Al Faw is a port town near the Shatt al-Arab waterway to Basra (Khalduniqbal/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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