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"Facts on the Presidential Campaign Funds Must be Unveiled"

"Facts on the Presidential Campaign Funds Must be Unveiled"

Posted November. 02, 2003 22:36,   


President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday proposed to the prosecutors a comprehensive investigation on the last year’s presidential campaign funds, stressing that the overall background of political funds related to the last year’s election should be disclosed by clarifying parties’ and election funds after the decision of candidates for president had been completed.

During a meeting with the press at Chunchukwan (the press room) in the Blue House, President Roh said, “Prosecutors will make an unbiased investigation, and this should be one which can unveil the structural outline of the illegal political funds rather than a limited search on just a few cases of monetary transactions.”

As for the investigation of the big local companies, the president mentioned, “In a bid to minimize the impact on the nation’s economy, the prosecutors would rather adjust the scale of search on political funds than extend it to an overall slush funds issue.” Roh also said, “Aside from the bribes that were transacted for some specific aims, I would like to suggest that other cases such as general political funds or ‘insurance-type’ political funds be let off.”

President Roh also mentioned that it would be possible to get the full story of the presidential campaign funds without searching every account books of the companies. “If you first look into the account books of the district office and the head office of the parties, what you will do next is interrogate the persons in charge of the involved companies and get a confirmation. This way it may not heavily affect the economy,” he explained.

Regarding a special prosecution on presidential campaign funds that the Grand National Party(GNP) earlier suggested, President Roh said, “It is appropriate to discuss it later when we notice some parts of the investigation are not complete or the outcomes are turned out to be distorted.” Roh made a clear opposition that disturbing the prosecutors’ investigation would not be a good idea.

However, on the special prosecution issue for suspicion of the president’s close aides, Roh said he would be willing to accept (the bill of special prosecution) if the National Assembly votes for it. But he also ordered that the approved bill must be specific enough to contain the possible facts of investigation based on the scope of common-sense.

For the reactions to the president’s remarks, a floor leader of Grand National Party Lee Jae-oh said, “Regardless of the president’s position, our party will make every effort for the passing of special prosecution law as we planned earlier.” A spokesman of the Millennium Democratic Party Yoo Jong-pil announced, “In terms of the corruption of presidential campaign fund, the GNP and Uri Party are like close families living next door to each other.” Yoo stressed that both the parties should unveil the entire detail of the presidential campaign funds. Chung Dong-chae, a spokesman of Uri Party, supported the stance of President Roh by saying that Uri Party is ready to submit all documents related to the political funds such as presidential election, general election and competitor’s election to the prosecutor’s office.

Jeong-Hun Kim Myoung-Gun Lee jnghn@donga.com gun43@donga.com