Disgraced scientist Hwang questioned for first time by authorities since cloning scandal

Disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk was questioned Friday by South Korean government authorities for the first time since the scandal erupted over his falsified stem cell research. The Board of Audit and Inspection questioned Hwang about his possible misappropriation of state funds, spokesman Park Jin-kyu said. Through last year, Hwang received 41.7 billion won (US$42.2 million; 35 million euros) in government funds for his research as well as 4.3 billion won (US$4.35 million; 3.61 million euros) from private foundations, according to the board.

Hwang already has been questioned by a Seoul National University panel, which earlier this month said the professor of veterinarian medicine had fabricated results published in landmark 2004 and 2005 papers in the international journal Science.

Prosecutors are also pursuing a separate investigation and have questioned Hwang's former co-workers. They haven't yet said when they will question Hwang himself.

This week, prosecutors said the results of DNA tests confirmed the university's findings that Hwang's purported cloned stem cells didn't actually match the original patients.

It remains unclear whether Hwang or anyone else involved in the scandal could face criminal charges, reports the AP.

D.M.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team