[EDITORIALS]Roh at odds with reality

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[EDITORIALS]Roh at odds with reality

Roh Moo-hyun, the presidential nominee of the Millennium Democratic Party, claims that prosecutors delving into the activities of President Kim Dae-jung's sons are focusing their efforts solely on members of the MDP. And that, he says, "is not the stance of an independent prosecution."

Mr. Roh also has charged that the inquiry is calculated to protect prosecutors from any criticism from the opposition Grand National Party.

An aide to Mr. Roh, Yoo Jong-pil, went even a step further with the charge that "The prosecution is not a supine subject of the government, but of the opposition party," a remark for which he later apologized. In any case, Mr. Roh's perception of the prosecution's effort is at odds with that held by the public, which is repulsed by the brewing scandal.

Almost daily there are revelations concerning administration insiders, leaving the public to only hope that the prosecution will break from past performance and conduct a truly thorough and nonpartisan probe.

Mr. Roh says he believes that the prosecution should be independent of the government. But his suggestion that prosecutors turn their attention to the opposing party makes it appear that he's trying to commandeer the investigation.

Mr. Roh, a purported reformer, last month was found to have made a phone call to a chief prosecutor of the East Busan District Prosecutors Office to set up a meeting with the local leader of the Millennium Democratic Party.

When journalists asked about the matter, he replied that "Even President Lincoln met with those who had requests," a reference to the U.S. president whose nickname was "Honest Abe." For Mr. Roh not to understand why the phone call raised eyebrows seems preposterous.

Neither the Millennium Democratic nor the Grand National Party can be sanctuaries from the fight against corruption. When prosecutors zero in on a specific camp or party or person, they are going where they think crimes are to be found. Mr. Roh should realize that the days when the party in power ruled prosecutors are over.
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