[EDITORIALS]Once more into the vortex

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[EDITORIALS]Once more into the vortex

Sul Hoon, a ruling Millennium Democratic Party lawmaker, disclosed another scandal Friday. Mr. Sul said Choi Gyu-seon, currently standing at the center of allegations associated with the president's son, gave 250 million won ($192,000) to Lee Hoi-chang, the former opposition Grand National Party president, through GNP lawmaker Yoon Yeo-joon. Mr. Sul said there is a multiple number of witnesses and he has a tape that recorded a conversation about the transaction between Mr. Choi and Mr. Yoon. Mr. Sul demanded explanations about the money from Mr. Lee. If the bribe did occur, the case is a deathblow to not only Mr. Lee but to the entire opposition party.

The Grand National Party immediately denied Mr. Sul's announcement and began to prepare all possible legal action, including a libel suit and compensation claims. Mr. Lee said that this administration has lost control and is inventing rumors. Mr. Yoon said he will give up his seat in the National Assembly if the rumor turns out to be true. But he demanded Mr. Sul leave the political arena, if the rumor is not true.

Amid the mounting doubts surrounding the three sons of the president, a new unconfirmed bribery scandal involving the former opposition party president emerged, driving everyone into a state of confusion. The politicians, whose mission should be resolving the doubts, are drawing the public into a vortex of suspicion.

Mr. Sul's disclosure was done in a problematic way. If Mr. Yoon secretly accepted the money from Mr. Choi, that is clearly a crime. The disclosure was made, however, on the day when the court was examining a detention warrant for Mr. Choi. Mr. Sul should have provided all evidence to the prosecutors to have them investigate the case. Although the suspect was in the middle of an investigation, a ruling party lawmaker disclosed another charge with no confirmation. Although the doubts about houses belonging to Mr. Lee are moral issues, bribery is a crime that should be handled differently. It is not too late for Mr. Sul. He should hand over evidence immediately if he has any.

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