[EDITORIALS]Focus on Roh’s aides first

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[EDITORIALS]Focus on Roh’s aides first

It is appropriate that the Grand National Party decided to postpone seeking passage of a bill to name an independent counsel on presidential election funds, while pushing for the passage of another to investigate irregularities of President Roh Moo-hyun’s close aides. As we have repeatedly pointed out, the right way is to keep watching the prosecutors’ investigation as the work is underway.
The introduction of independent counsels should be limited to cases which are difficult for the prosecution to intervene in or where the result is judged by people as not being up to par. Trying to introduce an independent counsel in all cases involving the political community implies that the prosecution is subordinate to the political community, and that can hurt investigators’ morale. If such a wrong practice becomes settled in our society, it will become difficult to reveal the truth of cases related to politics.
It is too early to say the prosecutors’ investigation is partial. The Grand National Party pointed out that the speed of the investigations is different, but the prosecutors reconfirmed their will for a fair investigation by saying “Don’t see the tree, but see the woods.” If an independent counsel is introduced now, there can be such rare scenes as a simultaneous investigation of the same person by the prosecution and the independent counsel.
If the prosecutors present a partial result, exposing only the irregularities of the Grand National Party while closing their eyes to Mr. Roh’s election funds, it will not be too late for the party to introduce an independent counsel. Since it occupies the majority of seats in the Assembly, it can pass the bill on its own. If there is suspicion over the impartiality of the investigation, the Millennium Democratic Party will also support the bill, making it difficult for Mr. Roh to veto the measure.
The Grand National Party should cooperate with the prosecution’s investigation first and decide whether to introduce an independent counsel later. The prosecution must investigate with impartiality to avoid being criticized by the party. Then, the prosecution will keep its independence and provide the basis for political reform.

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