[EDITORIALS]Political whining

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[EDITORIALS]Political whining

The Millennium Democrats are starting to voice complaints about the special counsel's office led by prosecutor Cha Jung-il in the Lee Yong-ho scandal. After criticism by party spokesman Lee Nak-yon on Friday, the party's floor leader Chung Kyun-hwan also publicly criticized the team. From Mr. Chung's strong words, we can judge the degree of rancor the Millennium Democrats are harboring. The party has two basic complaints about the team. First, he said, the team has stepped over legitimate boundaries in its investigation. Second, opening the contents of the investigation to the public is a declaration of guilt without proof.

The party's complaints can be answered in two words: not true. There is no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the team has overstepped the boundaries in its investigations. There is also no evidence that the investigation has been leaked illegally. The announcement of the interim findings of the special investigation team are provided for in the law, and the rest of the news can be seen as a result of active media coverage. Just look at how different the reports of different papers and TV stations are.

The special investigation team seems to have struck too close to home in the investigations of Lee Hyung-taek, the first lady's nephew, and Lee Soo-dong, a close friend of President Kim and a former executive of the president's peace foundation. Even the president's son, Kim Hong-up, is now under the counsel's scrutiny. What seems to have peeved the Millennium Democrats even more is that their first-ever presidential primaries are being ignored by the public as more corruption scandals surface.

The Millennium Democrats are providing nothing to back up their complaints. The public will not tolerate any attempt to hinder the investigation now that it seems to be heading toward a climax. A survey showed that 74 percent of the public wanted the counsel's mandate to be extended and 76 percent wanted the law changed, if necessary, to clean up the scandals.

Now that the team seems to be closing in on the central figures, any attempt by the ruling party to hinder the investigation will lead to suspicions of a cover-up. Encourage, not criticize, the special counsel - if you have nothing to hide.
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