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The Independent Counsel for `Lee Yong-Ho Gate` Will Launch On Dec. 8th

The Independent Counsel for `Lee Yong-Ho Gate` Will Launch On Dec. 8th

Posted November. 23, 2001 09:17,   


The National Assembly passed 16 bills, including a bill on the appointment of an independent counsel to reveal G & G Chairman Lee Yong-Ho`s alleged lobbying activities involving politicians and governmental officials and a revised bill on the punishment of violent activities, etc., at its plenary session on 22nd.

Passing the bill on the appointment of an independent counsel for `Lee Yong-Ho Gate` the government will promulgate the bill and the President Kim will appoint the independent counsel. The independent counsel`s investigation is expected to begin Dec. 8th. The investigation will focus on the alleged lobbying activities, involving politicians and ranking officials, of Lee Yong-Ho, Yeo Un-Hwan, and Kim Hyung-Yoon, former Economy Director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), and on the alleged concealing activities of the prosecution.

This is the third independent counsel in current government followed by the independent counsels on `cloth lobby` and `inducement of the Korea Mint Corporation`s strike`. The investigation could last up to 115 days, including 10 days preparation period and twice of extension.

The National Assembly also ratified 3 motion bills; the Ratification Motion Bills of Criminal Extradition Treaties between Korea-Indonesia and Korea-New Zealand, and the Ratification Motion Bills of Revised Protocol for Avoiding Double Taxation and Preventing Tax Evasion.

After they passed bills, the ruling and opposition parties disputed with each other over the issue of Public Prosecutor General Shin Seung-Nam`s attendance in the National Assembly through `the 5 minutes free speech`.

Rep. Lee Joo-Young of the Grand National Party (GNP) insisted, "Even though the high ranking officials of the NIS were involved in major power-related corruptions, the prosecution concealed their involvement in its initial investigation. The Public Prosecutor Genera should attend in the National Assembly to disclose the whole truth to the people."

Rep. Kim Hwa-Jung of the NMDP refuted, "In the previous government, the GNP, which was the ruling party at that time, strongly opposed the Public Prosecutor General`s attendance in the National Assembly. The GNP`s request of the Public Prosecutor General`s attendance, which has no legal obligation, is a political tactic and nonsense."

The Unification, Foreign Affairs, and Trade Committee held the bill examination committee to examine the revised bills on South-North Cooperation Funds and on South-North Exchange and Cooperation that regulated the necessity of the National Assembly`s advanced approval for the government`s aids to the North over a certain price. But because of the NMDP`s objection, the Committee decided to re-discuss these bills after a public hearing in early December.

Jeong-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com