Don’t yield to the refusalPresident Park Geun-hye defied the state prosecution finding that named her as a key suspect in criminal charges filed against her friend Choi Soon-sil, a personal secretary, and a senior presidential secretary. She refused to comply with the prosecution’s call for investigation. A sitting president and the prosecution are mired in a rare showdown.
Through her spokesman, President Park denied all the allegations and criticized the prosecution’s findings for lacking any objective evidence. Her lawyer said that his client cannot agree to the prosecution that labeled the president as a conspirator to the crimes charged on the three suspects.
Yoo Young-ha, the president’s attorney, claimed that Choi’s charges of abusing power to coerce money out of companies and leaking classified state materials are simply personal wrongdoings that are not associated with the president. He also maintained that it was perfectly legitimate for the president to seek outside advice on writing her speeches.
The president’s attorney also said that the president will not comply with any questioning from state prosecutors and will instead prepare for an investigation from independent counselors. But in order to build a bribery case, state prosecutors must interrogate the president.
The prosecution must act tough. If the president resists till the end, it must seek a court warrant. If it cannot summon the president because her title has constitutional immunity from criminal action, it must storm into the Blue House to get necessary evidence.
The state prosecution has so far been perceived as a subordinate of the executive branch. It must restore its authority as the defender of justice by standing up to the recalcitrant president. It must remember that its name is at stake if it fails to get bottom of the case and see through the enforcement of the law.
JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 21, Page 30