Following throughGrand National Party presidential hopeful Lee Myun-bak’s elder brother and brother-in-law are acting suspiciously. Of the suspicious real estate purchases and holdings Lee has been involved in, land in Dogok-dong and an apartment complex in Cheonho-dong are drawing the most attention. Lee’s brother and brother-in-law purchased the land in Dogok-dong and made a large profit selling it. It is suspected that Lee was the actual owner of the land and used his relatives’ names as a front.
The apartment buildings in Cheonho-dong were built by Hongeun Planning, a subsidiary of DAS, the company that Lee’s two relatives set up. There is a suspicion that Lee, who was mayor of Seoul at the time, did favors for the company.
Kim Jae-jeong, Lee’s brother-in-law, and DAS sued those who questioned their integrity, and the prosecutor’s office is investigating the case. As they sued for libel, both must fully cooperate in the investigation. But Lee’s brother is now overseas, and Kim said yesterday he would withdraw the suit and cancel his statement.
When the suit was filed, we expressed concern about prosecutors’ intervention in the opposition party’s primary. Judging from former elections, we suspected that prosecutors could lead the investigation in the wrong way to influence the presidential election. But the case was filed, and Lee’s brother and brother-in-law did not step back, despite a request by Lee’s camp to withdraw the case. The investigation has proceeded to some degree.
The Grand National Party’s hearing on its presidential hopefuls was only partially successful in clearing up suspicions about the aspirants because the party has no right to investigate. A poll shows that more than 60 percent of voters are still suspicious about Lee’s real estate purchases and holdings. For now, it will be best if the prosecution carries out the investigation with reasonable measures and finalizes it at an early date.
Lee’s brother must return home, and Kim also must cooperate more with the prosecution. If they withdraw their case for no special reason, suspicions will only grow. That will be bad for Lee because the people will think that he and his relatives must have something to hide.
Now, the dice have been thrown. Lee’s camp, the prosecution and voters must not try to ignore what turns up. If Lee is innocent, the dice will prove it. If not, they will also reflect accordingly. All must follow the correct procedure.