[EDITORIALS]Find facts or end probe

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[EDITORIALS]Find facts or end probe

The investigation of alleged draft-dodging by a son of Lee Hoi-chang, the Grand National Party presidential candidate, has become even more confused. As the authenticity of the recorded tape presented by Kim Dae-eop is in question, suspicions surround the allegation.

Mr. Kim presented a recorded tape together with transcripts to the prosecutors on Sept. 12. The prosecutors decided that, because of the tape's poor recording condition, it could not verify Mr. Kim's allegations. Mr. Kim presented another tape on Sept. 30, reportedly saying it was the original tape with better recording conditions. But it was found be a copy of the tape he had previously presented. Naturally, the authenticity of the tapes is being questioned.

The recorded tapes are important evidence that can play a decisive role in the case. At one stage it seemed that when the content of the recording was confirmed, all suspicions surrounding the case would be verified. Therefore, the tape attracted attention and raised expectations. But Mr. Kim presented the tape only after the investigation was a week old, making the excuse that he had left it at home. The transcripts he presented with the tape were erased here and there, arousing further suspicion.

It is common sense that the quality of a recording deteriorates when it is repeatedly copied. It is trifling with the people, not to mention the prosecutors, if Mr. Kim presented a copy of the first tape as an original. He claimed he did not say that the second tape was the original and that he told the prosecutors that. Nevertheless, it is necessary to verify the authenticity of the tapes before investigating their contents.

Another suspicion is that Mr. Kim, who served a jail term for helping draft-dodgers, may have used a computer in the prosecutors office on seven occasions to connect with a golf Web site he subscribed to. If it is proved that a prosecution computer was made available to an inmate for some months, the credibility of the prosecution will be greatly damaged.

The investigation is now two months old. It cannot be dragged on forever on the pretext that more time is needed. The prosecution should conclude the case on the basis of social justice.
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