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[Editorial] President Should Also Be Investigated

Posted December. 30, 2003 22:51,   


The outcome of the prosecution’s investigation into irregularities of President Roh Moo-hyun’s confidants makes us skeptical over the moral ground of President Roh since the investigation has evidently revealed traces of Roh’s lies.

President Roh said on May 28, “My debts to Jangsucheon, a spring water bottler, are irrelevant to presidential election campaign funds. Although the Yongin real estate transaction was a little bit favorable to me, I did not make any unlawful transactions to get that deal.”

However, prosecutors concluded that the transaction was a forged deal whose proceeds were spent to pay off President Roh’s debts to Jangsucheon, and that the president was informed in advance of the unlawful transaction.

In addition, President Roh also said on December 18, “Sun & Moon chairman Moon Byung-wook is one of my high school alumni but I did not get much assistance from him.” But the investigation disclosed that Roh was at the place where Moon handed over 130 million won in unlawful donations to his close aides.

Cheong Wa Dae, however, refuted the accusation over the bogus transaction. “We suspect that prosecutors’ investigations were inordinately influenced by public opinion. And we believe that prosecutors should not have jumped to the conclusion but should have waited until the court makes a ruling.”

For the Sun & Moon controversy, President Roh also tried to justify his wrongdoing saying, “Although the transaction turned out to be somehow unlawful, there was no intention of committing an infraction.” The prosecution’s investigations, however, revealed that President Roh knew virtually everything about the irregularities. Based on the facts, one may now easily deduce that President Roh devised the actual methods for collecting illegal campaign funds and his confidants were just puppets of Roh, and that Roh and his aides are now all lying.

But do you remember what the president said before? He condemned opposition parties and some media for their attempting to harm the careers of reform-focused politicians. Now, I want to ask the president why he did not stop his close aides’ like Kang Geum-won, Lee Ki-myung, Lee Kwang-jae and Ahn Hee-jung from lying.

If the head of state is seen by the people as a liar, state affairs cannot be run stably. If the president loses their trust, who would sincerely follow his vision? He said he would step down if his camp collected over one tenth of the illegal political funds that the Grand National Party collected. But I believe this is not what a president should utter.

The only thing that President Roh can do now is apologize sincerely to the people and voluntarily cooperate with the prosecution’s investigation into these allegations. This will be the only way to lessen the anger and despair of the people.