[EDITORIALS]Investigate Roh aide’s case

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[EDITORIALS]Investigate Roh aide’s case

It has been disclosed that the prosecution neglected the transcript of a tape recording and testimony of Kim Seong-lae, former vice chairman of the Sun and Moon Group, that she gave 10 million won ($8,700) to Lee Kwang-jae, the Blue House secretary for information and policy monitoring, when the prosecutors investigated her in April. The Seoul District Prosecutors Office tried to make the excuse that it did not investigate the case because there was no evidence to support the statement. But considering Mr. Lee’s position in the Blue House, we wonder whether it shrank from an investigation.
In the transcript of the recording of Ms. Kim’s conversation with her staff, a copy of a 10 million won check handed over to Mr. Lee and a statement that the group provided 9.5 billion won for the 2002 presidential campaign, are included. Despite such facts, the prosecution said that it could not investigate further because those involved remained silent. It also said that there was no clue to investigate the 9.5 billion won either.
As we well know, prosecutors do not rely only on the testimony of those involved. Despite their claim that they traced Ms. Kim’s accounts, we suspect their investigation was only a superficial one. The prosecution itself admitted that the main point of investigation at that time was a charge that Ms. Kim forged papers to draw 11.5 billion won from financial institutions. If she handed over funds to politicians, it is hard to expect that she drew the money from her own accounts.
It is also doubtful that the senior prosecutors were not informed of her admission that she gave a few million won to Mr. Lee. If prosecutors failed to report to their superiors about bribery charge against such an important person, we must suspect that they tried to cover it up or cut it down.
Mr. Lee strongly denies the bribery charge. But suspicions surrounding Sun and Moon grow bigger, because President Roh Moo-hyun is said to have given legal consultation to the group a couple of times. The case should not be covered up. To clear unnecessary suspicion, the prosecution must investigate it thoroughly.
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