[EDITORIALS]Prosecution must do its workThe prosecution is moving ahead to the stage of prosecuting former aides of President Roh Moo-hyun by asking for a detention warrant for Kang Geum-won, chairman of Changshin Textile Co. and a major financial supporter of the president, on managerial negligence charges stemming from questionable use of company assets.
But the warrant request falls short of addressing what the public suspects Mr. Kang’s wrongdoing actually was, including his contribution to Mr. Roh’s campaign last year and whether money went to other aides of the president.
Mr. Kang has told the press that he had helped the president “through means that are beyond imagination.” He also said he has given the money away because Mr. Roh’s close aides “nagged” him, and “lest they cause problems.” He has said enough to support the suspicion that the prosecution is scrambling to prosecute him to shut him up and to stop the opposition’s call for an independent counsel.
There has been some accomplishment in the investigation, however. Prosecutors have traced the money Mr. Kang allegedly embezzled from his company to a fund that was used by another major financial supporter of the president, Lee Gi-myeong, to buy real estate. The prosecution also said there have been large cash transactions in his account that were probably used for illegal purposes. There is also evidence that he was the source of illegal campaign contributions used by some politicians.
There is a debate about whether to hold another National Assembly vote to override Mr. Roh’s veto of an independent counsel bill. This must be surely a nagging concern for the prosecution, but is no excuse for it to do its work superficially. It will be some time before an independent counsel can start work, if one is appointed. The prosecution has more than enough time to do a thorough job so there is nothing new for the counsel to work with. The prosecution must find out what Mr. Kang meant by “means that are beyond imagination” and who received the money that Mr. Kang said he gave away.