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[Editorial] Roh`s View on Prosecution Hard to Understand

[Editorial] Roh`s View on Prosecution Hard to Understand

Posted August. 28, 2003 22:20,   


President Roh Moo-hyun made a mistake when he made remarks on the prosecution in Gwangyang, South Jeolla province, because the remarks could make the prosecution cower and compromise the authority of the judiciary. He said that he would not let the prosecution, which is unsupervised by any entity, though it exercise enormous power, do what it wants. On the surface, the president appears to transfer the inspection of the prosecution to the Justice Ministry. However, a close look reveals that his remarks can be interpreted as pressure on the prosecution’s investigation.

First of all, the meaning of “unsupervised prosecution” is not clear. The words could be seen as the president`s expression of complaints about prosecutors` probes into the "Goodmorning City scandal" and "Hyundai`s slush funds." We wonder why the president, who has often reiterated that he would not meddle in the prosecution`s investigation, made remarks that are susceptible to various interpretations.

In the phrase, "unsupervised prosecution," the president might have tried to put emphasis on the independence of the prosecution in its probe of Hyundai`s slush funds. However, the remarks "not let the prosecution do what it wants" negate that interpretation.

In addition, Mr. Roh hinted that prosecutors’ investigation into former President`s sons was inappropriate, saying the fact is that they were under investigation for trivial things. The corruption scandals involving the former president`s sons actually enraged the public. From Roh`s point of view, the Supreme Court confirmed the investigation into trivial things by the prosecution when it convicted the former president`s two sons. A Cheong Wa Dae spokesman explained his remarks do not mean that they should not be or should not have been the subjects of investigation. It is deplorable that most of the words of the president, who should watch his language, are corrected and complemented by his spokesmen.

With respect to President Roh`s conviction, Cardinal Stephen Kim Soo-hwan said that he hopes that the president`s conviction would not take the nation and its people in a wrong direction. However firm the president`s conviction is, the president should lead his nation and the people in the right direction, not going beyond his authority given to him by the Constitution and law.