[EDITORIALS]New document, old smell

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[EDITORIALS]New document, old smell

A document outlining how the investigation of the alleged draft-dodging of the Grand National Party's presidential candidate's son should proceed has been revealed, creating another stir. The document, supposedly the transcript of comments by Kim Dae-eop, is marked as being Mr. Kim's opinion. The investigation of the matter and other developments seem to track with the document, making us wonder who drafted it and why.

The head of the Seoul District Prosecutors Office should be replaced for one who would support the chief investigator of the allegations, the document suggested. In the August reshuffle of the prosecution team, Park Young-kwan, the chief investigator, was kept at his post but the head of the Seoul District Prosecutors Office was removed after only six months in office. Coincidence? Not likely.

The document also suggested that the prosecutors drag out the investigation until November to help the Millennium Democratic Party. It recommended that the MDP persuade a central figure in other draft-dodging scandals to say that he helped the candidate's son stay out of uniform and that a tape recording be released to support the charges. The document also suggested Mr. Kim testify at the National Assembly on the matter. Most of those things have happened.

If the charges are an MDP plot to win the election, as the document suggests, that is a scandal in itself. It is up to the MDP to defend itself by finding out where the document came from. The matter is too serious just to say, "The document is not from our party." The MDP must remember that limp rebuttals just fuel more doubts.

The prosecutors are also in trouble again. Mr. Park's retention in office was controversial at the time and the investigation clearly has been dragged out. The investigating team is said to be fighting internally about when to make the results public and what more to investigate. They must stop waffling, release a credible report and hope that their public standing is not so low that even a good report will not be believed.
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