[EDITORIALS]Look closer at the charges

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[EDITORIALS]Look closer at the charges

Kim Hong-up has been detained on charges of receiving bribes and violating the attorney-at-law act. Hong-up, the second son of President Kim Dae-jung, faces charges of having received 2.3 billion won ($1.8 million) in return for exercising his influence on government projects. The president's son has acknowledged some of the allegations against him and is reported to have given up a request for a review of his warrant.

It seems that Mr. Kim was very much of an all-around problem-solver for his acquaintances, according to the list of charges on the arrest warrant. Among his deeds, he exercised his influence on a special investigation by the Blue House, got debts written off for financial agencies, hushed up a tax investigation, silenced investigations by the prosecutors office and the Financial Supervisory Service and facilitated an unauthorized letter of credit guarantee. The list of his alleged wrongdoings shows how vast was the area in which he meddled, using his status as the president's son. Also, the fact that Mr. Kim's benefactors were members of the Blue House, the prosecutors office, the National Tax Service and the finaicial watchdog shows the seriousness of his interference in state affairs.

Mr. Kim's hiring of underlings also has a touch of organized crime. His hangers-on were all school friends, and he led them in raking in great amounts of money for granting favors. Mr. Kim's actions were no different from those of mobsters apart from the fact that he is the president's son and that the amount of money received was far bigger. How could Mr. Kim, who up until his appearance at the prosecutors office had said that he had never received a penny of dishonest money, have stooped so low?

Even with Mr. Kim in custody, the prosecutors are far from the end of their investigation. There are just too many unsolved mysteries. What about his laundering of the 2.8 billion won found in borrowed name accounts, and how did he come about this money? Does it have something to do with President Kim Dae-jung's Peace Foundation or was it leftovers from the 1997 presidential campaign? Prosecutors should put forth their efforts on this case before the public starts demanding a special counsel to conduct an inquiry --again.
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