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Opposition Lawmaker Denounces Gov`t Investigation

Posted October. 17, 2001 09:24,   


Grand National Party (GNP) lawmaker Ahn Sang-Soo alleged on Oct. 16, concerning former chief of the National Intelligence Service (NIC) economic bureau Kim Hyung-Yoon, who had been arrested on suspicion of accepting 50 million won in kickbacks from Lee Kyung-Ja, a chairperson of Dongbang Mutual Savings Bank, ``There is a sense in which one might say that the NIC made detailed inquires into Chang Yong-Suk, who used to be the chief prosecutor in charge of this scandal, and tried to hush up the case.``

During the parliamentary interpellation session of government on society and culture Rep. Ahn raised the question as to whether it was true that the NIC officials had disturbed the probe by putting pressure on chiefs of the Prosecutor`s Office. He continued point out, ``The truth should be told about a suspicion that Prosecutor Chang expressed his intent of resignation when his suggestion to Seoul District Prosecutor`s Office Chief Kim Gak-Young that the scandal be investigated was denied, the suggestion made after he finished inquiring into two employees of Dongbang Bank, who voluntarily surrendered themselves to the police this year and confessed that they had prepared a bribe for former bureau chief Kim.``

In response, Justice Minister Choi Kyung-Won said, ``The probe has been delayed only because the important witnesses left overseas, but not by pressure from the NIC.`` He added, ``An additional special inspection seems unnecessary since an exhaustive investigation is being conducted, including the arrest of former NIC bureau chief Kim.``

Rep. Park Jong-Hee of GNP raised issue with a drive to investigate opposition politicians, alleging, ``The NIC is attempting to make political circles seemingly immoral and corrupted by feeding information to the press of various scandals on politicians collected by the NIC through wiretapping and eavesdropping.``

Rep. Park said, ``There is a suspicion that the NIC drew out a four-phased list of 54 politicians, and, as a first step, reported to Chung Wa Dae the result of investigation on 16 opposition lawmakers (10 of provincial areas and 6 of metropolitan areas).``

In response to this, Prime Minister Lee Han-Dong and Justice Minster Choi Kyung-Won said, ``That is not true.``

New Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) spokesman Chun Young-Hak commented, ``The GNP has raised a suspicion of investigation on opposition lawmakers every odd month in order to use it as a justification for a bulletproof parliament to protect the lawmakers who have violated the law.

Meanwhile, Rep. Kim Kyung-Jae of the MDP said, criticizing a GNP candidate for the October 15 re-election (Dongdaemun Eul-District, Guro Eul-Distrct and Kangreung) at the interpellation session of government, ``Those who lost their seat in the parliament or are in danger of lost it, and those who should be punished for forgery of academic background and social career have been nominated.``

Rep. Kim Jung-Sook of the GNP alleged, ``In the case of Dongdaemun Eul-District re-election, all 6 instances of the violation of election law that National Election Commission disclosed were conducted by a MDP candidate.`` and continued, ``The MDP is trying to steal a victory by unlawful and unrighteous deeds with nominating a corrupt candidate.`` In addition, Rep. Lee Won-Hyung demanded that all Cabinet members resign from a sense of responsibility for the failure of the separation of pharmacy and clinic.

Prime Minister Lee said in his response that the enactment of an anti-terrorism law would be considered positively to provide a new anti-terrorism system. With regard to regularizing tax probes on the press companies, he said, ``It will be approached prudentially in accordance to the equity principle with ordinary companies.``

Song In-Soo issong@donga.com