All eyes on Roh

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All eyes on Roh

Today, the Korean people will witness something they hoped never to see.

A year and two months after leaving office, former President Roh Moo-hyun will leave his home in Bongha Village in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang, as a suspect in a bribery scandal.

The angry and disappointed people of this country will be able to follow Roh’s progress thanks to the hordes of television crews pursuing him on the road to the capital. The former president is scheduled to stand outside the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office to be photographed.

He wanted to be the first son of a new era, not the youngest child of the old era. But there’s no chance of that now.

Instead, when he enters the prosecutors’ interrogation room, he will join the ranks of the most miserable of the old era. He’ll be going into the same room where his older brother Geon-pyeong - the poor farmer the former president tried to protect - was questioned earlier.

The most important matter now is to uncover the truth, to find out what really happened between Roh Moo-hyun and his family, and Park Yeon-cha and Kang Geum-won, his other “family.”

The prosecutors have reportedly prepared hundreds of questions, but they’re not questions from the prosecutors alone: They are the people’s questions.

Roh Moo-hyun, the suspect, must tell the truth, knowing this is his last chance to state his case in front of the nation.

Former First Lady Kwon Yang-sook says she received $1 million to pay off some debts, but she has refused to offer further details. If it’s true that Kwon had debts, then Roh must have submitted false reports about his finances while in office.

How can half of a married couple be unaware of such large debts? Even if he hadn’t known at first, he surely would have found out later.

And how did a friend who was Roh’s Blue House secretary for general affairs accumulate more than 1.2 billion won by embezzling state funds?

Was all that money for Roh or for the secretary? Did the former president really not know? What about that 100 million won watch Roh received for his 60th birthday? Why did Roh borrow 1.5 billion won from Park after his term ended?

While the state had provided for him and when he had solid backing from Kang and others, why did he need such a large sum of money? He says he’s got an IOU, but what kind of debt is one that you don’t pay back? Did the former president really not know?

The nation expects answers to these and other questions.
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