[EDITORIALS]Imprudent petitionThe suspicion over bribes by Kim Heung-ju, who used to own Grace Department Store, sends ripples throughout society.
The outline of the scandal is that Mr. Kim gave bribes to people in a bid to take over a mutual savings bank. The list of those caught up in “Kim Heung-ju gate” covers senior members of powerful agencies such as the prosecution, the Financial Supervisory Service, the National Tax Service and the board of audit and inspection.
The prosecution believes that Mr. Kim created a network in the political, government and judiciary fields to use the pool for lobbying.
The investigation started two years ago and is gathering speed these days, the prosecution says.
Many questions arise over why an incident that happened six years ago has now surfaced. Nothing has been uncovered yet; how the incident has been covered so far, what the truth is or whether the investigation will make more people innocent victims. We hope that prosecutors will carry out thorough investigations in order to clear suspicion and uncover the truth.
Meanwhile, 1,300 workers at the financial watchdog agency filed a petition with the Seoul Western District court.
In the petition, calling themselves a group of workers who respected vice chairman Kim Jung-hoe, the workers wrote that it is hard to believe that Mr. Kim, a man of integrity, received bribes.
The workers also wrote that Mr. Kim had been investigated by the prosecution whenever a scandal erupted, but he always turned out to be innocent.
It is wrong that a public agency stages a group act, particularly when the agency could have influence on the investigation. That will give people the impression that the powerful public agency only tries to protect its own people.
Moreover, nobody can be sure whether a person received a bribe or not. If Mr. Kim is innocent, that will be revealed through the investigation.
The Financial Supervisory Service has important duties to supervise financial companies. Fairness is the key for the watchdog agency. The body should be careful not to make financial companies think that the Financial Supervisory Service is in favor of its own members.
The workers of the agency should be more prudent with their acts so as not to tarnish the body’s reputation.