Living in a different worldJustice Minister Cho Kuk, who has joined the list of suspects for the prosecution’s investigations of a number of criminal charges against his family, attended a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. He was bombarded with questions from reporters as his home was raided by prosecutors on Monday. While refraining from answering, he apologized to a colleague during the cabinet meeting for causing trouble. It is disheartening to see.
A cabinet member must attend the cabinet meeting. But someone whose house had been raided a day before should have pardoned himself. The meeting did not mention the ongoing investigations, but a meeting held to discuss national interests lost focus with one of the members facing prosecutorial questioning onboard. The main opposition Liberty Korea Party filed a court order with the Constitutional Court to invalidate Cho’s public title. “The prosecution cannot fulfill a fair investigation when a suspect holds a ministerial post even after his entire family is under criminal investigation,” the party said. The ruling Democratic Party (DP) remains indifferent to public sentiment. It steadfastly defends Cho and accuses the prosecution of political conspiracy. The ruling party discussed filing a complaint about the leak of information that Cho was added to the suspect list. DP chairman Lee Hae-chan accused the prosecution of adding “pretext” to the investigation. But prosecutors already have multiple grounds for suspecting Cho for breaking laws, including ordering the destruction of evidence. Instead of apologizing for a cabinet member accused of criminal charges, the party is finding fault with others.
Cho said he now knows what it is like to be “falsely accused and investigated.” He was slamming a legitimate legal procedure as an intrusion of civilian rights. It was Cho who nominated the current Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl as the best candidate to lead the top law enforcement agency. He must be oblivious to the distress he has caused the nation.
Cho made his second visit in his round of tours to district prosecutors’ offices for conservations with active prosecutors in Cheonan, South Chungcheong. He is putting prosecutors in agony by forcing them to sit through a dialogue with a figure who will face prosecutorial questioning. Cho must contain himself and not upset prosecutorial and government order.
JoongAng Ilbo, Sept. 25, Page 30