[EDITORIALS]Family ties and dirty handsPresident Roh Moo-hyun’s elder brother, Roh Geon-pyeong, was indicted on charges of accepting 30 million won ($25,600) from a businessman seeking a reappointment at a government-designated job. That is lamentable. Mr. Roh has stressed that he would strictly punish any corruption among his relatives. He also said that those who were involved in bribery related to jobs would be punished even more severely. Now Mr. Roh probably would have nothing to say even if he had ten mouths.
According to the prosecution’s investigation, Mr. Roh’s brother accepted a shopping bag with the money at his house last September. He gave back the 30 million won in December, and reportedly said he did not know the money was related to a job appointment. If so, why did he return the money only after the businessman was not re-appointed? Furthermore, he took the money at a time when Mr. Roh’s aides were in trouble for alleged corruption. Ahn Hee-jung, an aide of Mr. Roh, was being tried at the time on charges of receiving illegal political funds. While presidential aides were in trouble for being corrupt, the president’s brother was taking dirty money. We are speechless.
This is not the first time we have heard allegations involving Mr. Roh’s brother. He was accused of meddling in jobs at the National Tax Service and the National Police Agency in February of last year. During an interview, he mentioned a specific candidate as qualified to head the tax service. He said, “I never accept money, but sometimes I help other people when I feel sorry for them.” He also said, “I have received resumes from two persons who want to be ministers.”
But the Blue House concluded that there was no actual request made for a job, ending its probe there.
The people remember vividly past administrations’ corruption involving presidential relatives. Every administration repeated the wrongdoing ― presidential relatives took bribes and intervened in government hiring. But it is time for a change. The Blue House must reinforce its monitoring system of the president’s relatives with more focus on prevention, and the corruption already revealed must be punished sternly.