Go to contents

Prime Minister Goh Attempting to Wrap Up Business Investigation at Earliest Possible Date

Prime Minister Goh Attempting to Wrap Up Business Investigation at Earliest Possible Date

Posted November. 20, 2003 22:40,   


Prime Minister Goh Kun underlined the need for the prosecution to wrap up the investigation at the earliest possible date to minimize any possible negative impact upon the national economy.

During a National Assembly Budget-Settlement Committee session, Prime Minister Goh Kun responded to the assertion of Hong Jae Hyung lawmaker in the Uri party with, “The prosecution will wrap up the investigation of companies at the earliest possible date, because it is possible that overseas credibility may be lost and business production may dwindle.” He added, “Along with the Justice Minister, I wish to minimize the negative impact of this investigation upon the national economy,”

However, Prime Minister Goh refuted the assertion that the prosecution’s investigation lowers credibility overseas, saying, “There are two sides to the matter. The exhaustive investigation of slush funds will provide a good opportunity for our companies to gain the credibility of businesses overseas. The prosecution should disclose the real facts of this case to encourage political reform.”

Regarding the veto right of an independent counsel bill related to scandal involving president Roh’s aids, Prime Minister Goh said, “Until now, the government has respected the legislative power of assembly. With the prosecution now probing into this case, I will review the introduction of an independent counsel bill seriously, based on the result of the prosecutors’ investigation. I will also consider both the constitutional spirit and the objective of the introduction of an independent counsel bill.”

He made comments concerning textile company president Kang Keum-won, “I’ve never met him, but I think he had better be humble.”

In terms of the current ministers and vice ministers running in the general election, Goh said, “Running in the general election is their private affair, but as long as they are state ministers, they ought not to act in a way that causes political misunderstandings. President Roh is considering reshuffling the office, a move which is well-timed.” He also stressed on Thursday the independence of the prosecutors’ investigation of conglomerates, saying, “It is matter that the prosecution decides for itself.”

Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-young said during a media briefing, “It is true that President Roh urged the need to investigate political parties first and to try to minimize the damage on businesses and the national economy. However, this is his private opinion, not a signal to the prosecution.”

“Of course, the head of state is required to cope with economic problems, but he also needs to ensure that the prosecution will carry out its probe smoothly. It is a matter to be determined by the prosecution. We have no stance when it comes to the prosecution’s probe,” Yoon added.

Jeong-Hun Kim Min-Hyuk Park jnghn@donga.com mhpark@donga.com