[EDITORIALS]Truth must be revealedProsecutors investigating the wiretapping of the National Intelligence Service and its precursor, the National Security Planning Agency, raided the intelligence agency’s offices yesterday. Such a raid is the first of its kind in Korean history and also uncommon in other countries. The intelligence agency must be in unbearable shock from the raid, but considering the criminality of the wiretapping, such an investigation was unavoidable.
Search and seizure are necessary investigative procedures to thoroughly get to the bottom of the wiretapping. To remove suspicion of many kinds, it is necessary to secure evidence of the illegal wiretapping. We’re concerned, however, that the prosecutors’ raid may have come too late. It’s two weeks since the intelligence agency admitted the wiretapping and in the meantime, there is a high possibility the agency has destroyed relevant evidence by scrapping, burning or hiding the products, such as tapes and transcripts, in readiness for a raid by prosecutors.
The National Intelligence Service must actively cooperate with the prosecutors’ investigation, in order to gain credit for its admittance to past wiretapping and its claim that such is not the practice at present. However, the attitude of the intelligence service is far from cooperative, which raises the question of whether the process and the realities of the wiretapping will be properly examined. The material the intelligence agency handed over to prosecutors is reportedly far from complete, thus it’s allegedly hard to use as a basis for investigation. Also, former and incumbent agents involved directly and indirectly in the illegal eavesdropping team, codenamed Mirim, are refusing to answer the summons of prosecutors. The intelligence agency chief had promised to actively cooperate with the prosecutors’ investigation, which turns out to have been a lie.
Now that it’s hard to expect voluntary cooperation from the agency, prosecutors have no choice but to take more active steps. They shouldn’t make light of the investigation with the excuse that agents involved refuse to appear. Prosecutors must not give the impression that their investigation on the intelligence agency is only a stopgap measure. They must show seriousness and determination in their investigation. The most certain way to make the agency refrain from illegal wiretapping is to reveal the whole truth in broad daylight.