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Prosecutor General Lee Myeong-Jae’s `Invaluable Silence`

Prosecutor General Lee Myeong-Jae’s `Invaluable Silence`

Posted May. 18, 2002 10:18,   


`No intervention in the investigation` `Avoided contact with influential authorities` `Silent message`.

These are the summary of prosecutor general Lee Myeong-Jae’s recent conditions, who is currently directing the investigation against president Kim Dae-Jung’s second son Hong-Up and third son Hong-Gul.

On the previous day of Hong-Gul’s appearance at Seoul District Public Prosecutor’s Office, Lee met cardinal Kim Soo-Hwan, chairman of Korea Citizen’s Foundation on Initiatives for Safe Schools, at a hotel in Seocho-gu, Seoul, on the 15th.

The cardinal said, “There must be many things to worry about these days”, but the general gave an irrelevant response, “Thank for you leading the foundation.¡°

The day’s outing was Lee’s fourth one since his inauguration on January 17. The supreme prosecution’s press official Seok Dong-Hyun said that Lee made no contact with authoritative class like Cheong Wa Dae after saying then, “I promise the prosecution will be protected from all impropriate external influences.”

Lee has left the prosecution building during working hours, only when the Japanese and the German justice ministers visited, and is still having lunch within the building.

The other outing was for the luncheon with the investigation team of Hong-Up’s scandal on the 11th. All he said during the meeting was, “Good work. I had some curiosity after reading newspapers and I wanted to call the team, but I didn’t.”

He usually only listens without particular orders during briefings about investigation progresses at Seoul district prosecution and the supreme prosecution.

“It is stifling that he is quieter nowadays, when he was already a quiet person,” said a prosecution director who met Lee on the 16th, the day of Hong-Gul’s summons.

When Seok said, “The outside world is constantly asking about your current conditions” on the 17th, the prosecution general answered, “It would be better if I don’t say anything.”

An executive member of the supreme prosecution interpreted, “Lee’s continuing silence is a wordless message that the investigation should proceed in more fairness and thoroughness.”

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com