[EDITORIALS]Illegalities, Ethical Lapses Abound

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[EDITORIALS]Illegalities, Ethical Lapses Abound

The prosecution and a legal counsel acted deplorably during the investigation of the C&S Technology stock dispute. We understand why the people do not believe the prosecution's report of its investigation; they think that money and power can buy results. We are amazed that both the prosecution and the lawyer, the ruling party's floor leader in the Assembly, say they did nothing wrong.

It was wrong for the prosecutor in charge of the case to have drinks with the complainant. It was illegal, as well as morally and ethically wrong, that the prosecutor filled the complainant in on the state of the investigation. The transcript of a phone conversation between a prosecutor and the complainant gives an impression that the prosecutor consulted with the complainant on what charges to file against the defendant. Suspicions of collusion and unfair investigation abound. In addition, some parts of the transcript lead us to believe that bribery must have been involved.

The explanation given by the defendant's lawyer, Lee Sang-soo, the ruling party floor leader is also a problem. He represented the defendant and received a fee although he did not let the prosecution know that he was the defendant's counsel. Of course he didn't pay taxes on his fee either. Mr. Lee said he didn't do anything wrong because he acted in accordance with long-standing practice - but he certainly did do wrong. Representing a defendant without informing the prosecution is illegal, and is usually done to avoid reporting taxable income. Recently, Kim Tae-joung, the former justice minister, was criticized for having represented Lee Yong-ho in the same manner. The Korean Bar Association is contemplating sanctions on him.

Furthermore, Mr. Lee is the ruling party's floor leader in the National Assembly. He should be a role model for all representatives. If he called up the prosecution to ask them to send the complainant home whenever the complainant was being questioned, wouldn't the prosecution believe political pressure was being applied? The prosecution should stop trying to excuse themselves by saying no wrongdoing was involved. Mr. Lee, from whom we have the right to expect strict adherence to the law, should acknowledge his mistake and reflect on his conduct.
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