Shaking the prosecutionFormer Justice Minister Cho Kuk was indicted on 11 counts including fabricating internship certificate and college application documents of offspring, falsely reporting personal wealth, and tampering with or hiding evidences. Cho lambasted at the prosecution for “political indictment purely out of fiction and imagination.” But prosecutors claim they have sufficient evidence to back their case.
According to the indictment, Choe Kang-wook, a Blue House secretary in charge of keeping watch on public office discipline, issued a fake document certifying internship by Cho’s son for use in applying for graduate schools of Yonsei University and Korea University. Cho’s son actually did not serve in internship program in a law firm where Choe had worked before he was recruited by Cho to move to the Blue House.
Choe was appointed as the secretary to public office discipline in September 2018, reporting directly to Cho who served as senior presidential secretary for civil affairs at the time. There is a possibility that Cho had rewarded the position for doing the favor for his son. Choe did not comply to the prosecution’s summoning. How can a presidential secretary overseeing public office integrity demand public employees of the same integrity if he shows such disregard to law enforcement procedure?
Yoon Do-han, senior presidential secretary for public communication, criticized the prosecution for coming up with “shabby results” from an investigation to undermine the president’s authority on appointments. How much more criminal allegations must come up for the Blue House to acknowledge the reason for a prosecutorial probe? Jin Jung-kwon, an outspoken liberal critical, lashed out by putting critical messages on Facebook. “The Blue House has gone crazy. The criminal charges are as many as 11. The entire family of Cho has been accused of fraud and corruption. How can that be shabby?” he wrote.
Rhyu Si-min, a YouTube commentator and head of the Roh Moo-hyun foundation, also criticized the prosecution for the “poor results” of its indictment of Cho. Lee Hae-chan, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party, slammed the prosecution for wielding “overbearing power.” They have abandoned common sense and political responsibility to uphold law and order entirely for political gain.
The prosecution must not waver. Prosecutor-General Yoon Seok-youl vowed to finish the duty the people has bestowed on the prosecution. He must demonstrate what is normal and what is not.
JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 2, Page 30
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