PA STEM CELL SCIENTIST
Ahn Young-joon  /  AP
Hwang Woo-suk, left, talks with Dr. Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh School in a file photo from Aug. 3, 2005.
updated 1/27/2006 9:19:03 AM ET 2006-01-27T14:19:03

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.

Hwang received $42.2 million in government funds for his research as well as $4.35 million from private foundations, according to the board.

Hwang already has been questioned by a Seoul National University panel, which has accused the professor of veterinarian medicine of fabricating 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 did not actually match the original patients.

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

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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