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Parliamentary Committee Passes Special Prosecutor Bill

Posted November. 07, 2003 22:42,   


The Legislation and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly passed one of three special prosecutor bills that target last year’s presidential election fund scandal and corruption allegations involving former aides of President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday.

Despite the resistance from the Uri Party, the Grand National Party (GNP) and the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) managed to pass the bill by forming an alliance.

The bill, however, failed to reach the main floor yesterday afternoon as the revised Assembly Law stipulates that a bill needs one day to be forwarded to a plenary session after being reviewed by the standing committee.

“We will deal with the special prosecutor bill after settling the 2002 budget bill at the plenary session scheduled on Monday at 2 p.m.,” said GNP floor leader Hong Sa-duk.

However, the bill may have to be dealt with on Wednesday instead as the Uri Party is planning to have a party gathering to celebrate its foundation on Monday.

Meanwhile, the special probe bill is likely to be passed without much difficulty as the Uri Party claims it would not flex its muscle even if the bill is forwarded to a plenary session.

The probe bill targets suspicion on Choi Do-sul, former presidential secretary for general affairs, and Lee Young-roh, Choi’s acquaintance, for taking illegal presidential election contributions and bribes. It also targets Lee Kang-jae, former secretary for information and policy monitoring, for taking illegal contributions from a leisure specialized company to finance Roh`s presidential campaign and Yang Gil-seung, Roh`s personal secretary, for accepting bribes from Lee Won-ho, the owner of a nightclub, in Cheongju.

The investigation period for the special prosecutors was initially to be 150 days but has been reduced to 90 days.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com