[EDITORIALS]Inquiry needs dose of truthThe prosecution arrested Surh Jeong-woo, a former legal adviser of the Grand National Party’s presidential election campaign’s head office. Mr. Surh is not only close to Lee Hoi-chang, he was also a core member of Buguk team, Mr. Lee’s private campaign organization. Even Mr. Lee’s most relied-on aides called Mr. Surh “the closest of his close aides.” Now the prosecution is aiming its investigation at the core of the problem.
The prosecutors said that Mr. Surh was arrested on charges of “collecting large amounts of election funds from several business concerns.” There is even speculation that the amount involved could be even larger than the 10 billion won ($8.4 million) received from SK Group. The prosecutors might fully understand the political repercussion of the arrest of Mr. Surh; therefore, it is likely that they found some evidence.
In October last year, Mr. Lee said, “Accepting illegal funds is wrong, and it can’t be excused for any reason. If someone should go to jail, it should be me naturally.” Mr. Lee should have called his campaign aides together and investigated the details of illegal fund right after that statement. If he had done so, the prosecutors could wrap up the investigations sooner and the businesses concerned could have saved time, waiting for their turn to be investigated. Of course, there might have been difficulties. It might have been difficult to grasp the overall picture of the election fund scandal. But Mr. Lee should have tried to clarify what he knew. He must confess now. The longer his delay, the stronger the criticism will grow.
The investigation into Mr. Lee’s campaign funds has reached the final stage, but the investigation into President Roh’s campaign funds has not made much progress. If things go on this way, won’t the prosecutors be criticized for leading an investigation to kill the Grand National Party? If a core member of Mr. Lee’s camp is investigated, a core member of Mr. Roh’s side must be investigated, too. It is not clear whether the prosecutors found no wrongdoing on Mr. Roh’s side or have no will to investigate. If people think the investigation is not fair, the prosecutors will be foiled.