Go to contents

GNP demands parliamentary probe into Dongbang loan scandal

GNP demands parliamentary probe into Dongbang loan scandal

Posted October. 25, 2000 20:34,   


The opposition Grand National Party is making a political issue of the loan scandal involving the Dongbang Mutual Savings & Finance Co. by demanding a parliamentary investigation into the case. But the ruling Millennium Democratic Party has rebutted that the opposition party is attempting to engage in groundless exposure tactics.

In a meeting of the GNP's three key post holders -- the secretary general, floor leader and chief policy maker -- on Wednesday, the participants decided to demand to the National Assembly that the loan case be thoroughly addressed through a parliamentary investigation or other means.

GNP floor leader Chung Chang-Hwa contended that the loan scandal is a power-related case similar to the financial scandal in the 1980s involving the duo of Chang Yung-Ja and Lee Chul-Hee, and stressed that all aspects of the scandal must be exposed, including the process of the illegal lending, the whereabouts of the loaned money for lobbying and the collusion with the political circle.

Chang Kwang-Keun, senior GNP deputy spokesman, said in a press briefing that his party would ferret out the truth surrounding the case through the current parliamentary inspection and if necessary, invoke the right of parliamentary investigation to expose any business-political collusion and determine the true nature of the case.

GNP spokesman Kwon Chul-Hyeon asserted in a statement that probes should be conducted to trace the spending of 40 billion won taken out from the Dongbang company. Investigations should also be launched to unveil attempts to bribe officials of the Financial Supervisory Commission and the illicit connection between venture business firms and the government policy makers concerned, he added. If the prosecution fails to fully uncover the scandal, he warned, his party will be obliged to demand a parliamentary investigation and the introduction of a special prosecutor.

On the other hand, the ruling MDP, holding a meeting of party key post holders on the same day, decided to turn down any GNP requests regarding the case, dismissing them as a partisan offensive against the ruling camp.

MDP spokesman Park Beong-Seug countered that the GNP was bent on practicing exposure politics against his party with unwarranted allegations, noting that the MDP had found through its own probes that MDP lawmakers were not involved in the case.

Noting that the GNP proposal for invoking the parliamentary investigative right is not compatible with the legal order, the spokesman asserted that his party would monitor the prosecution's fair and thorough probes and the financial watchdog¡¯s stringent scrutiny into the case.

Meanwhile, Park Kyoung-Hoon, deputy spokesman of the United Liberal Democrats, claimed that the scandal is evidence of a moral hazard involving corrupt ties between businessmen and the government officials and that therefore the government should mobilize the entire investigative authority to dispel all public suspicions with thorough and impartial probes into the fraud case.

Yun Seung-Mo ysmo@donga.com