Step away from the investigation

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Step away from the investigation

Kang Ki-jung, senior presidential secretary for political affairs, demanded the prosecution investigate the leak of confidential information allegedly collected by prosecutors in the process of probing allegations against justice minister nominee Cho Kuk. His comment could serve as pressure against the prosecution’s ongoing investigations of Cho and therefore must be taken back. While meeting reporters over the weekend, Kang called upon Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl to investigate how unconfirmed information under investigation got into the hands of the media to find out whether it was leaked by the prosecution or whether some kind of design was behind the media report.

He was referring to a media report that claimed prosecutors have secured a document where Roh Hwan-jung, head of the Busan Medical Center, had written that he had played a part in arranging the presidential doctor for President Moon Jae-in, as seen in the files they had secured from Busan National University. Roh was the doctor suspected of having granted scholarship to the daughter of Cho while she attended the university’s medical school.

Kang’s senseless remarks could be perceived as pressure on the prosecution. As the prosecution’s investigations must abide by the law, the presidential office has no right to interfere in their investigations. A few days earlier, he even clicked “like” on a Facebook post that called for the prosecutor to be punished and take responsibility over the “leak” of information.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) has been blunt in criticizing the intelligence leak. “How can this happen under Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl?” asked DP floor leader Lee In-young. Park Kwang-on, a senior member of the party, even argued that the affair should be looked into by a third party.

Because Kang is President Moon’s secretary, his remarks and behavior could be understood as the will of the president. While handing over a certificate of appointment to Yoon, Moon asked the new prosecution chief to be equally strict on the powers that be. The public may doubt the president’s sincerity behind the words if he does not restrain his secretary. The prosecutor and media outlet argued that the report was based on investigative reporting by the journalist, who secured the information from the computer of Roh after the prosecution’s raid. The public won’t tolerate the government’s attempts to water down the investigation on Cho through political influence.

JoongAng Ilbo, Sept. 2, Page 30
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