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Ruling Oposing Parties` Reaction to Warrant Request

Posted August. 17, 2001 08:59,   


The Unification Party raised questions about and forcefully opposed the rhetorical coercion behind the investigators` August 16 request for the arrest warrant of major newspaper stockholders, with the Free People`s Party (Ja Min Ryun) also expressing doubts. The Democratic Party (Min Joo Dang), however, stated that they hope this may be the beginning of clarifying the management process of concerned companies.

Unification Party secretary general Kim Ki Bae criticized the request, saying ``To request an arrest warrant for the stockholders when there is no danger of evidence disappearing or running away can be interpreted as nothing but an abuse of the law to suppress discussions.`` He added, ``The goal must be to uncover the crime rather than making an arrest. I feel that the court must turn down the request.``

Chief spokesperson Chang Kwang Kun stated, ``President Kim Dae Jung proposed a meeting of leaders from both ruling and opposition parties at the festival, and now he is insisting on the arrest of the major newspaper stockholders against the opposition`s strong protest. Even if there were a meeting of party leaders, the speech suppression and freedom of the speech will be a major issue.``

Democratic Party spokesperson Chun Yong Hak stated at a briefing, ``The prosecution has responded to the National Tax Office’s report and faithfully followed the legal process. Since the decision was made on the basis of legal process, this is not something that political parties should be arguing over.``

``Although it is regrettable that an arrest warrant should be issued, it shows that the newspaper companies were mismanaged, and one hopes that through this incident there will be changes in the future.``added Chun.

Free People`s Party spokesperson Byun Oong Jun said in a statement ``As newspaper companies have contributed greatly to the nation and to the growth of public discussion, our position is that handling the issue through the judiciary calls for the utmost caution. We cannot but express apprehension and dissatisfaction.``

``We hope that the situation will not end in the arrest of the company owners, and lead to divisions in national opinion, social discord, and create obstacles for the nation`s future.``added Byun.

Moon hul fullmoon@donga.com