Pat conclusions

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Pat conclusions

What the prosecution concluded about the behind-the-scenes string-pulling scandal at the Blue House after a five-week probe is utterly disappointing. It said it was just a pack of rumors. We doubt it.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said it investigated how a confidential Blue House report on Chung Yoon-hoi, a former aide of President Park Geun-hye, meddling in state affairs was leaked to a local newspaper. It concluded that Park Gwan-cheon, a senior police officer who until February worked at the Office of Presidential Secretary for Civil Service Discipline, drew up the report based on rumors on the orders of Cho Eung-cheon, his former boss at the discipline office. Park handed over some of the information to media and corporate organizations. Park was arrested on charges of violating the Presidential Records Management Act. Cho was indicted on similar charges without detention.

The conclusion is far too simple for an incident that rocked the political scene since late November. Why the confidential files were handed over to Park Ji-man, brother of the president, and the exact involvement of Chung and three presidential aides referred to as the “three doorknobs” - because they control access to the president - have not been clarified.

Prosecutors said Cho must have approached the president’s brother out of his own political ambition. They also declined to probe further the allegations of behind-the-scenes string-pulling by former and current aides of the president.

What the public wants to know is the truth behind the suspicions. Prosecutors will have to investigate the truth behind the string-pulling by Chung and other aides for the defamation charges they filed against the newspaper that first reported on the scandal. Why they are dithering now only raises more questions.

The public can’t believe the prosecution has been honest in its investigation. Why did it not summon and question the people mentioned in the report? The main opposition party is already demanding a special prosecution to re-investigate the incident. The prosecution’s investigation is suspected to have been basically shut down after President Park expressed dissatisfaction by stating, “The entirely country is rocked by rumors.” The prosecution receives support only when it stands up against the wrong and unjust. We ask the prosecution if it has really done its job.

JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 6, Page 30

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