[EDITORIALS]New truth commission startsIt seems that the third Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths will be launched soon. The Grand National Party, which opposed the revision of the special law that will facilitate appointing the third commission, has announced that it will examine the draft revision and make it possible for the commission to play its original role of its establishment.
There are still many petitions that direct or indirect illegal exercise of public power had caused death of innocent lives during the democratization movement. The commission must continue its activities. In the third commission, however, happenings that aggravated social conflict and in which investigators with dubious qualifications run wild shouldn’t repeat as in the second commission. And the practices of recognizing former spies and partisans as contributors to democratization and former spies or anti-state organization participants investigating former defense ministers or military commanders should be changed.
First of all, the commissioners and investigators who took part in the second commission should be excluded from the third. And in the selection of commissioners and employment of investigators, transparency and professional qualifications should be enhanced. The National Assembly should examine whether the commissioners recommended by the president are equipped with proper qualifications and patriotism before approving their appointments. It is necessary to pay special attention to the selection of investigators who will investigate the National Intelligence Service, Defense Ministry, military units, police stations and correctional institutes. At least those whose loyalty to the nation is questionable and who were investigated in connection with anti-state acts should be filtered through police clearances. Because of investigators with dubious qualifications, the commission’s proper investigations can be spoiled.
The investigation technique should be refined, too. For investigations of suspicious deaths at military units, it has issued summons to the commander of the Defense Security Command five times. Investigators should be polite, considering the rights and social status of the person they investigate. When the results of the investigation are ready, it is better that a third party deliberates and decides. If an investigation agency makes the final decision, it can lose objectivity and fairness.