Go to contents

[Editorial] Prosecutors must pursue scandal fully

Posted November. 01, 2000 13:59,   


President Kim Dae-Jung, at a meeting to examine the current state of the four-sector reform, stated disbelief at the implication of Financial Supervisory Service members¡¯ involvement in the Dongbang Mutual Savings and Financial Co. scandal and called for a complete disclosure of all irregularities.

Kim further asked the FSS to carry through with the reforms without any more headlines as an act of redemption.

Earlier in the week, the FSS held a "self-purification" meeting to decide on a ban for the FSS members to open private fund accounts and a ban for accepting a position at a financial institution following an FSS post. The FSS self-ban and President Kim¡¯s urgent request to the FSS point to yet another urgent task at hand, the business and financial reform.

However urgent the business and financial reform might be, without first revamping the structural decay and corruption of the FSS, as revealed by the Dongbang Scandal, the success of the business and financial reforms seem highly unlikely.

The success of business and financial reform lies in the trust and confidence of the people. For the trust, the FSS first must go under the knife to remove all the decay.

As such, it goes without saying that the prosecutors' investigation into the matter requires much attention. The ring of corruption between the venture businessman and the FSS members, as well as all other politicians who peddled their influence in this case, must be found and revealed by the prosecutors.

As the prosecutors' investigation forges ahead, the facts have revealed a systematic kickback and lobby activities of Korea Digital Line president Jung Hyun-Joon and vice president of Dongbang Lee Kyung-Ja. The prosecutors seem to be of the opinion that the scandal involved more than one or two individuals from the FSS. The prosecutors feel a majority of the FSS members took part in this scandal.

The prosecutors have confirmed the five or six people who opened a private fund account with KDI's president Chung and that many are individuals with ties to the administration.

Even so, recently, the prosecutors have stated: "Even if a politician opened a private fund account, whether that is illegal or legal is not very clear. Of course, opening such a fund is not illegal in itself. However, there is a greater possibility of KDI's president Chung having asked them to open an account, as he would be willingly guaranteed against any loss. Before weighing these possibilities, the prosecutor's office must not draw any conclusions.

Furthermore, with the apparent suicide of the main suspect in the scandal, Chang Lae-Chan, the former director of the non-bank inspection bureau at the Financial Supervisory Service, the case has taken a new turn. His final choice of escape through death might be a signal of the explosive nature of this case.

With his death, although it might become that much more difficult to weed out the high-ranking officials involved in the case, the prosecutors must take on a new and greater sense of responsibility.