[EDITORIALS]Simple answer in the truthThe lawmakers of the Grand National Party have exposed corruption allegations against close aides of President Roh Moo-hyun. At yesterday’s Budget and Accounts Committee session, a Grand National Party committee member alleged that one of Mr. Roh’s aides received 90 billion won ($76 million) from a business concern. It is regrettable that the committee must divert its attention from budget deliberations to engage in a political fight over charges based on flimsy evidence. But we cannot put the blame only on the Grand Nationals because the president has indicated his intention to veto the independent counsel bill supported by two-thirds of registered lawmakers.
As the allegations by opposition lawmakers are unconfirmed by investigators, we cannot say whether they are true or not. Since Song Kwang-soo became the Prosecutor General, allegations found by the investigations have been made public through accusations against the defendants. Thus, there are big differences between the allegations raised by the Grand Nationals and the prosecution’s revelations. We should be suspicious of the Grand National’s allegations. But as the differences between the two grow bigger, our confidence in the prosecution lessens.
Mr. Roh said on Sunday that prosecutors should be given more time to investigate, and he does not object to probing allegations against his aides. We should ask him what kind of cooperation he has rendered the prosecutors. If he had told them to tell the truth, the investigations would not have dragged on for so many months. Instead of encouraging the prosecutors to carry on, he embraced them, calling “comrades.” He played golf with an acquaintance and suspect. To say that we should await the results of the prosecution’s investigation is wrongheaded.
The essence of the independent counsel’s investigation into Mr. Roh’s close aides lies in to what extent the counsel can verify the truth. If there is a will to find the truth with the hands of the government, there is enough time for Mr. Roh’s aides to confess before the independent counsel begins its own investigation.