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[Editorial] Suspicious Audiotape

Posted August. 12, 2002 22:44,   


The draft-dodging scandal involving Jung-yeon, the eldest son of Lee Hoi-chang, the standard-bearer of the Grand National Party took a new twist when Kim Dae-up, who raised the allegation of Jung-yeon`s draft-dodging, submitted an audiotape and its transcript, which he asserted contains testimony of Kim Do-sul, former military medical official to the prosecution. But suspicions are even more inflating.

First, it is difficult to understand the transcript Kim released to reporters since many parts of it was removed. Kim already made a detailed description of the transcript before he submitted the transcript to prosecution. Given this fact, his act to release the imperfect transcript to reporters is shown as an attempt to inflate suspicions about the draft-dodging scandal. Kim`s allegation that he keeps dozens more tapes and is willing to release all of them can be translated as the similar attempt.

The problem is the prosecution. For it appears that not the prosecution but Kim is leading the investigation given the heretofore development of the investigation.

Prosecutors should secure all the tapes Kim asserts to keep in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding surrounding the investigation process.

As a high-ranking prosecutor has admitted, it is right to secure the tapes if they are the most important evidence to the scandal. It is especially so in order to promptly reveal the truth and to prevent the destruction of evidence.

The prosecution said that it is not in position to force one side to submit evidence since both sides have filed complaints. But this case is different from ordinary accusatorial cases. Since the finding of the investigation could turn the entire political sector upside down, the prosecution should commit itself to revealing the truth behind the case.

The prosecution should keep it in mind that the results of the investigation can be persuasive only when both sides honor the results.

Prosecutors should beware that ignoring the controversy over the existence of audiotapes can, by itself, be a main factor to inflate suspicions.