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[Editorial] Organized Obstruction of the Ongoing Investigation by Independent Counsel?

[Editorial] Organized Obstruction of the Ongoing Investigation by Independent Counsel?

Posted June. 03, 2003 22:01,   


It seems that the ruling party and the Blue House have rolled up their sleeves to obstruct the ongoing investigation by Independent Counsel Song into the Kim Dae Jung`s secret checkbook diplomacy scandal with the North Korean regime. They have issued lots of statements and made quite a number of comments on the pending investigation during the past week. All of them seem intended to pressure Counsel Song into limiting or narrowing the investigation`s scope. Spearheading the move is President Roh himself, who originally approved the investigation in the face of heavy opposition from within his own ruling Millennium Democratic Party.

Finally, 30 Millennium Democrats alleged in a written statement, "We are disappointed at the ongoing investigation by the Independent Counsel. It seems to focus on criminal prosecution of those involved." In fact, we are disappointed. Their statement is a political terrorism against the Independent Counsel. The previous day, in a press conference commemorating the 100th day in office, President Roh took a gray position as to the investigation. His blurry position may have egged them on to take such a bold, selfish action.

President Roh previously said at the May 27th dinner with Millennium Democrats, "We should make efforts not to harm the North-South relationship and the value of the summit of the two Koreas." To begin with, it sounded weird. President Roh himself was an attorney. He must have known that his remarks would lead to limiting the ongoing investigation, and that is against the law. Nonetheless, he made such a statement in an official meeting. We cannot help doubting his intent. We suspect he wanted to send some sort of message to the Independent Counsel. Right after the statement, Millennium Democratic floor whip Chung Kyun-hwan defined the investigation as a judicial terrorism.

Politicians should not say this and that about a pending investigation. Moreover, MDP members don`t have any right to do so because they passed the Independent Counsel Act, which authorized Song to look into the scandal. Notwithstanding the fact, the politicians are trying to poke their nose into the investigation they themselves agreed to. Especially, Millennium Democrats argue that the prosecution is not reasonable. To laymen like us, their allegation sounds totally out of the common sense. Independent Counsel Song has arrested and indicted a couple of people on charges such as abuse of power and embezzlement. They are not indicted on charges of "summit" or "improvement of North-South relationship." And exactly two people have been formally charged.

Nevertheless, the Millennium Democrats are opposing and trying to obstruct the ongoing investigation and prosecution. The only reason we could think of is that they intend to hinder the investigation and protect a handful of people against prosecution. Counsel Song does not need to heed their allegations. All he has to do is to get to the bottom of the scandal, and punish whoever should be held responsible.