[EDITORIALS]Time for a full accountingThe prosecutors summoned Chun Jae-yong, the second son of former President Chun Doo Hwan, to question him about the source of over 13 billion won ($11 million) in funds under his control. We applaud Mr. Chun, who has been living overseas, for returning voluntarily and complying with the prosecution’s request to answer questions. We expect that some of the questions will be cleared up.
A lot of suspicions have been raised by that money. The first is how a man of the age of 40 could accumulate such an amount. He does not have a source of income that would explain it. Naturally, the possibility that he might have received the money from his father or close relatives was raised. It is known that Mr. Chun also mentioned that he received help from his maternal grandfather, but it is too early to give credit to that statement. He could have dragged in his deceased grandfather to protect his father from an investigation. Therefore, the source of money must be investigated thoroughly.
Prosecutors should also look into speculation that some of the money was used to finance a 2002 presidential election campaign. The Grand National Party has claimed that part of Mr. Chun’s money kept in the form of certificates of demand was funneled into the coffers of the Roh Moo-hyun camp during the campaign. Because that allegation calls the integrity of the president into question, it must be checked out, and the details of Mr. Roh’s campaign spending should also be investigated thoroughly.
Mr. Chun bought three luxury homes, costing 1 billion won each, at the same time and transferred hundreds of millions of won to the account of a popular female entertainer.
Former President Chun Doo Hwan was fined 225 billion won by the Supreme Court in 1997. So far he has paid 31.4 billion won. Last April, he told the court he had only 291,000 won left in his bank accounts. His reply enraged people, but he followed through by putting many of his belongings and an annex of his house up for auction.
Chun Doo Hwan must honor his career. Even if it is late, he must confess the truth and pay the rest of his fine. He must not forget the anger in the eyes of Koreans.