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[Editorial] Ugly Troubles

Posted February. 16, 2002 11:29,   


In its 60-day initial investigation. the Special Prosecution team (SP) disclosed the corruption cases in which the First Lady`s nephew and the younger brother of the Public Prosecutor General was involved through its investigation on the `Lee Yong-Ho Gate` which has been marred by secrecy. As a result, the Public Prosecutor General Shin Seung-Nam resigned by taking responsibility for the Prosecutors Office`s misconduct in investigation, and his resignation led to the reshuffling of chief officials in the Prosecution.

The SP investigation shocked the Prosecution, which had lost its moral integrity by taking care of political power groups` mess throughout the previous governments. The Central Investigation Department of the Supreme Public Prosecutors` Office had summoned the Prosecutor General`s brother, investigated formally for only one day, and concluded that he had received money without any illegal solicitation. However, the result was changed just after the SP started its reinvestigation. The SP also revealed that Lee Hyung-Taek, the First Lady`s nephew, who was not been mentioned in the Prosecutions` investigation, mobilized various kinds of power authorities, such as the Presidential Secretary Office, the National Intelligence Service,and the Navy.

After the SP`s initial investigation, it became impossible for the Prosecution to conceal the truth and conduct a contrived investigation. The SP broke the Prosecution`s iron wall of monopolizing special investigations and indictments, and excised the festered wound of the Prosecution.

Although the initial investigation was successful to a certain degree in revealing the substance and wire-pullers behind the treasure hunt business and the illegal request for suspending the Prosecution`s investigation, the stock price manipulation of the Samae Indus and its alleged lobbying activities to the political and governmental circles are still in a cloud. Thus, in its 30-day second investigation, the SP should thoroughly investigate the fund invested in the overseas convertible bonds (CB), which might be used for the company`s lobbying activities to the political and governmental circles.

It is also important to clarify whether Lee Yong-Ho`s associates pressured former Prosecutor General Shin to suspend the Prosecution`s investigation. It was already confirmed that Lee Hyung-Taek met high ranking officials in the Prosecution, including the former Prosecutor General Shin, several times at golf and dinner meetings. The related figures excused their meetings with clumsy explanations that they had met in order to talk about prosecutors who were dispatched to the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation. The SP should summon important witnesses and suspects, including former Prosecutor General Shin.