[EDITORIALS]Finding the tape is the key

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[EDITORIALS]Finding the tape is the key

Kim Dae-up recently alleged that the son of the Grand National Party presidential candidate, Lee Hoi-chang, illegally avoided military service. Mr. Kim has repeatedly said he has a tape-recording of military manpower officials that can substantiate his claim, but he did not present the tape as evidence when he was summoned by prosecutors on Monday. Mr. Kim must have known that the tape would clear all doubts about the allegation and deal Mr. Lee's candidacy a huge blow.

Thus, we find it strange and incomprehensible that Mr. Kim has not presented the tape. Since the public has great interest in the tape, and the prosecutors will verify its contents, Mr. Kim must make the tape public.

Mr. Kim said he will ask his attorney whether he should present the tape after assessing the prosecutors' intention for pursuing the investigation. That means he might not hand it over. It is not proper for Mr. Kim to ignore the nation, which has seethed over his remarks.

Mr. Kim's record up until now is somewhat suspect. In addition to the doubts raised by his criminal record, that his family, including a high school senior, has moved overseas spurs more questions.

While in prison, he worked as an investigator in other draft-dodging cases. Under such circumstances, the longer Mr. Kim delays presenting the tape, the larger the doubt grows and the less trustworthy he becomes.

Seizing the evidence is the prosecutors' job. Confirming the existence and the content of the tape would cap the investigation. The prosecutors must not rely on Mr. Kim's word nor his voluntary release of the tape. They must investigate aggressively.

The prosecution will have no excuse if it has employed Mr. Kim as its investigator. The procedure and process of an investigation are as important as the outcome. The prosecutors must conduct an internal investigation to find out how Mr. Kim was able to participate in the investigation into Mr. Lee's son and make public the investigation outcome.

Separately from Mr. Kim's disclosure of the alleged draft-dodging, the prosecutors must find out how Mr. Kim became involved in the prosecution's investigations. This is the only way to restore the public's confidence in the prosecution.
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