[EDITORIALS]Clear up stock scheme

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[EDITORIALS]Clear up stock scheme

Lee Ik-chi, the former chairman of Hyundai Securities Co., has again singled out the presidential hopeful Chung Mong-joon as being behind the 1998 scheme to manipulate the share price of Hyundai Electronics. Mr. Lee appeared at the prosecutors' office with his lawyer Sunday and reportedly told the prosecutors that he had had several meetings with lawyers prior to the public investigation to prepare answer sheets in case Mr. Chung, then an executive at Hyundai Heavy Industries, was called in for questioning.

Mr. Lee also revealed what he claimed were part of the meeting's minutes that contained some of these answers and explanations prepared about the shared management of Hyundai Heavy Industries. This is the second time Mr. Lee has accused Mr. Chung, following an interview he gave in Tokyo last month.

Mr. Chung's side has said Mr. Lee's remarks are "not worth anything" and has strongly accused the rival Grand National Party of using Mr. Lee in a conspiracy to defame Mr. Chung. However, circumstantial evidence and proof that Mr. Chung was involved in the businesses have turned up. Considering the fact that this is a highly sensitive affair that could have a huge impact on the presidential election, the related parties must all clarify their positions.

Mr. Lee must without delay present all the hard evidence he might possess and free himself from any suspicions involving personal integrity and discreet ties with the Grand National Party. Mr. Chung, instead of calling for a public audit and a special investigating team, neither of which is quite realistic with the presidential election next month, should reveal the facts about suspicions of share manipulation.

With circumstantial evidence and proof already turned in, there must be no more delaying of the prosecutor's investigation. In addition to verifying those items, prosecutors must be committed to find the truth, even if it means reopening a full investigation into the 1998 stock manipulation scheme.
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