The prosecution indicted Kim Man-bae, a large shareholder of Hwacheon Daeyu, lawyer Nam Wook, the fourth owner of Chunhwa Dongin, and accountant Chung Young-hak, the fifth owner of Chunhwa Dongin for professional negligence. They wrote Daejang-dong development recruitment guidelines and business agreements favorably to Hwacheon Daeyu, along with Yoo Dong-gyu, former acting president of Seongnam Development Corporation, causing over 182.7 billion won of damage to Seongnam Development Corporation. Kim is also charged for promising 70 billion won in bribe to Yoo and having provided 500,000 million won.
The main players of the design and lobbying of the Daejang-dong project have been brought to trial but there are some core suspicions that haven’t been resolved yet. The prosecution’s investigation has not even taken a step regarding whether the upper-level figures have been involved in the mass corruption in which hundreds of billions of won of development profits were given to private companies. The first person in line to investigate the upper-level figures is Jung Jin-sang, a former policy director of Seongnam. The confidant of Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Korea, signed over nine official documents related to the Daejang-dong project and even talked to Yoo over the phone right before the search and seizure of Yoo. However, the prosecution has not investigated Jung yet.
Even the list of names of the “five billion won club” was revealed regarding Hwacheon Daeyu’s lobbying suspicion, the investigation has not made progress. The full truths of the Daejang-dong gate cannot be revealed without investigating former Supreme Court justice Kwon Soon-il who led a judgment of an acquittal at the Supreme Court for Governor of Gyeonggi Province Lee Jae-myung’s violation of the election law and received 150 million won in advising fees from Hwacheon Daeyu, Park Yeong-soo who was involved with Hwacheon Daeyu in many aspects as he served as a standing advisor of Hwacheon Daeyu and his daughter worked as an employee of the company, and Kwak Sang-do whose son received five billion won in severance pay.
A special investigation is inevitable to find out truths about these suspicions. Both ruling and opposition parties agree to a special investigation on principle. However, there are many hurdles to overcome as the People Power Party opposes the inclusion of suspicion that the party’s presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl had a poor investigation of Busan Mutual Savings Bank’s loans to the Daejang-dong project as a prosecutor at the time while the Democratic Party of Korea opposes a special investigation led by the People Power Party.
In order to minimize the disruption of the presidential election by a special investigation, the investigation should be completed before the election. There are only 106 days left until then. The ruling and opposition parties should accelerate negotiations but come to an agreement. In addition, indicting the figures involved with the Daejang-dong project is not the end of the prosecution’s investigation. Even with a special investigation, whether the truths about the Daejang-dong gate will be revealed or not depends on how thorough the prosecution’s investigation is. The prosecution announced that a continuous investigation would be conducted for the suspicions raised so far. The prosecution should tighten its investigation to make sure that it is not just rhetoric.