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Let independent counsel probe into campaign funds: HC Lee

Let independent counsel probe into campaign funds: HC Lee

Posted January. 16, 2001 11:14,   


Rep. Lee Hoi-Chang, president of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP), vowed Tuesday to fight resolutely what he called the political maneuvering of the Kim Dae-Jung government at any cost.

¡°I do not want the Kim Dae-Jung regime to meet misfortune, but I will fight resolutely its mean-spirited political maneuvering at any sacrifice because the people, press and opposition party are affected by it,¡± Lee said in a New Year¡¯s press conference at the party headquarters in Yoido. ¡°The incumbent regime, starting with the lending of lawmakers and debate on constitutional revision, is attempting to drive national politics into catastrophe, taking issue with the general election campaign fund of five years ago.

¡°This is a plot to gloss over its poor administration of the past three years, cover up the power-related corruption, realign the political parties and seize power for a long time.¡±

Referring to the controversy over the top intelligence agency¡¯s financing the former ruling party¡¯s parliamentary election campaigns, Lee said, ¡°The prosecution should stop immediately its plot to split our party, instigated by the current regime.¡±

He claimed that prosecutors have been unable to find the truth about the nature of the funds, which are the essential issue to be resolved in the case.

¡°The sole way to bring the true picture to light when the people distrust politicized prosecutors is to appoint an independent counsel,¡± Lee said. ¡°If that is done, we will cooperate with the job of the special prosecutor with pleasure.

¡°The envisioned special prosecutor has to conduct a full-scale investigation into not only the controversial fund of the Agency for the National Security Planning (NSP), but also the political funds of all the politicians from the ruling and opposition parties, including President Kim and me. If the misappropriation of the NSP¡¯s budget is found to be true (by the independent counsel), I will apologize to the people and will assume responsibility, if I have to.

¡°It is very unhappy for the state that the economy and the people¡¯s livelihoods have been neglected due to the current government¡¯s political maneuvering at a time when all of us have to concentrate on overcoming the economic difficulties.¡±

He urged the ruling camp to halt its practice of attacking the opposition party through the prosecution under the guise of law and principle in order to hold power for a long time and to return the leased four lawmakers to their original status at once.

¡°President Kim is rationalizing that the current national crisis was caused the people, press and opposition party, but this is an irresponsible remark, and he forgot his responsibility for state affairs,¡± Lee said. ¡°The president¡¯s errant understanding of reality and bubble policies are rather aggravating the people¡¯s distrust, far from giving hope to the them.¡±