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Uncooperativeness Slows Investigation of Illegal Funds to Roh’s Camp

Uncooperativeness Slows Investigation of Illegal Funds to Roh’s Camp

Posted January. 04, 2004 23:23,   


The investigation of the prosecution is gaining speed regarding the campaign fund scandal. However, the investigation into the illegal campaign funds collected by the then-candidate Roh’s camp is facing rough times due to the uncooperativeness of the corporations.

The prosecution has identified illegal funds offered by Samsung, LG, SK, and Hyundai Motors to the GNP until late last year and is now exerting active investigation into other campaign funds from these corporations to the then-candidate Roh’s camp.

The investigation has identified illegal funds collected by Ahn Hee-jung, former team head of State Affairs at the Secretarial Office to then-candidate Roh, and others. However, the investigation into campaign funds handed over from the chaebol corporations to Roh’s camp is still at a standstill.

The big-five chaebol corporations, as well as big-ten corporations including Lotte, Hanjin, Hanhwa, Doosan, Kumho, and Hyosung, said, “We did not offer illegal campaign funds to then-candidate Roh’s camp,” and some of them said, “Even if so, we cannot say it.”

These corporations were known to insist, “We had no reason to offer illegal funds since we have been offering enough political funds to the Millennium Democratic Party at every different election for five years since the start of the Kim Dae-jung government.”

However, observations were made of them keeping silent since they wil expect adverse effects including political retaliation if they admit the offer of illegal campaign funds to the governing party.

Supporting this are some corporations with a high debt rate who deny the allegation of the illegal funds saying, “If the governing parties stop the money line with ill wills, we will die immediately.”

In addition, the remark made by the president saying, “If the illegal funds that I received amounts to more than 1/10 of the Grand National Party (GNP) funds, I will resign from the presidency,” has also amplified the uncooperativeness from the corporations.

The related officials of the investigation team said, “In particular, we cannot trust 100 percent of what Samsung and Hyundai Motors insist,” expressing their discontent. The investigation team intends to identify the campaign funds offered from the big-ten corporations to the GNP and then-candidate Roh’s camp until late January, but they will investigate into the secret funds of the uncooperative corporations from the beginning without setting the timeline.

The background of this stern policy is the prosecution considering that the controversy over the investigation’s fairness and controversy over adapting the special prosecutor system following the investigation of the close aides of the president will emerge again as investigations of the big-ten corporations are showing its limits already.

Consequently, the pressuring investigation of the big-ten corporations, including seizure and search and secret fund investigation, will continue until late January, and tension will also continue with some corporations.

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com