[EDITORIALS]Prosecution needs new trackThe prosecution is struggling with whether or not to proceed with an investigation it is considering. The matter involves illegal political funds that district party chapters received from their headquarters and how they were used during the 2002 presidential campaign. A court had ruled that illegal money transferred from the headquarters to district chapters cannot be confiscated unless amounts misused at each chapter were investigated individually.
The opposition is resisting the prosecution’s investigation of its district chapters, saying that it is biased.
The prosecution so far has found that the Grand National Party raised 82.3 billion won ($72 million) of illegal money and the Roh Moo-hyun campaign collected 11.4 billion won from businesses. That illegal campaign financing outraged the public. It would be right for the prosecution to thoroughly investigate how the illegal sum was eventually used by party chapters.
But the principle of equal treatment should be considered as well in the prosecution’s investigation. It was revealed that the Grand National Party distributed 41 billion won and the Roh campaign allocated 4.2 billion won to their district chapters. The Grand National Party provided between 150 million and 200 million won to each chapter, and the Roh campaign gave around 10 million per chapter, according to the prosecution. The prosecution said it would investigate only chapters that had received more than 100 million won, letting the Roh camp off the hook. That is the reason for questions about bias.
Furthermore, it would be difficult for the prosecution to investigate all the 200 chapters of the Grand National Party.
Now that the elections are over, it is time for all of us to make a new start for the future. The prosecution’s investigation into the illegal campaign financing scandal should be wrapped up as soon as possible.
The prosecution will have to find a new way to investigate. If the purpose of the prosecution’s investigation on how the illegal sums were eventually used by chapters is to confiscate the money, then there is a way. The prosecutors could investigate chapters that are charged with diverting the headquarters’ money and confiscate the sum from their party headquarters.