Blue House must be searched

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Blue House must be searched

President Park Geun-hye last Friday delivered to the Constitutional Court her second set of written answers to judges’ questions about her impeachment by the National Assembly. Her perceptions were eerily similar to those shown in the first set written on Dec. 16, when she was harshly criticized for “her detachment from public sentiment” after she claimed that the share of her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil’s intervention in state affairs was less than 1 percent of her job as president.

This time too, Park refuted all accusations of her abusing the power of the presidency, turning a blind eye to Choi’s seemingly uninterrupted and unconstrained meddling in government affairs. Park insisted she had not been aware of Choi’s involvement in state affairs and that she herself had exercised presidential power in a legitimate way. In a nutshell, she did nothing wrong.

With regard to the leaking of state secrets to Choi, the president asserted she only wanted to get Choi’s opinions and that she had never ordered her personal secretary Jeong Ho-seong to send Choi government documents on appointments or policies in a comprehensive manner, in effect passing the buck to Jeong. Regarding charges that she forced business group heads to donate money to the Mi-R and K-Sports foundations in the name of sports promotion through separate meetings with them, Park said she did not mention suggestions from her Policy Coordination Secretary An Chong-bum even after receiving them.

If that’s true, what about the countless presidential instructions An wrote down in a number of notebooks? And how can anyone explain his testimony that the president even determined the name and locations of the suspicious foundations? We are dumbfounded at Park’s logic, which would embarrass a petty criminal.

The 39 notebooks An recently submitted to the independent counsel team shows the need for search and seizure operations at the Blue House to gather evidence. The notebooks he kept in his office cabinet contain all information about his job as a senior presidential secretary at the presidential compound. He allegedly handed them over to the independent counsel in return for lenience by the prosecution in regards to his wife’s bribery charges.

We now understand why the independent counsel so desperately wants to raid the Blue House. It is highly likely that mountains of evidence remain there. The Blue House must allow them to conduct search and seizure operations. The truth is at stake.

JoongAng Ilbo, Feb. 7, Page 30
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