[EDITORIALS]Roh should speak out

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[EDITORIALS]Roh should speak out

It has now been disclosed that President Roh Moo-hyun was both directly and indirectly involved in the alleged corruption of his close aides. Not only the public, but also those who have supported Mr. Roh, are shocked at what has been revealed by the prosecution’s investigation so far.
The president has immunity from a criminal investigation while in office but he may become subject to charges after his term is over. Even if there are no criminal charges against Mr. Roh, it is still a grave problem because it mars the president’s morality and honor, qualities a head of state must have.
Mr. Roh is not free of legal responsibility, not least because he was present when two aides received 100 million won ($84,000) and 30 million won from the Sun & Moon Group on two occasions in November and December last year.
Even if he did not receive the money in person at the time, it would be fair to say that the group gave the money to them with the intention that it should go to Mr. Roh. The president has claimed, “I have not received much help from the group,” but it turned out that it was not the case.
The president must have been involved in the scandal involving a land transaction in Yongin, Gyeonggi province. Mr. Roh claims that the transaction was a friendly deal from which no one profited, but prosecutors recently said that the land transaction was actually a cover-up to conceal Mr. Roh’s supporters’ transfer of money to him, and he was briefed on the sales contract.
If Mr. Roh ordered his aide Choi Do-sul to use 250 million won he was holding from the last local elections for a spring water bottling company Mr. Roh used to run, it means that he ordered Mr. Choi to embezzle funds.
We wonder what the public thinks of Mr. Roh now. What is the truth and what is Mr. Roh’s position? The Blue House said Mr. Roh will give his opinion around February, but that will be too late. The Blue House should not be relieved just because Mr. Roh has immunity and is not likely to be investigated. The Blue House and the president should understand the public’s anger.
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