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Lee Hoi-Chang: “The Investigation Was Unfair.”

Posted March. 09, 2004 22:17,   


“President Roh Moo-hyun is not free from the responsibility of illegal electioneering as well,” said former GNP leader Lee Hoi-chang on March 9 in connection with the interim findings of the prosecution about slush funds during the 2002 election.

Lee said during a press conference at the headquarters of GNP that “the problem that liquidates the past, such as receiving illicit funds, should be solved by the person who is in a position of trust. I am willing to go to the prison to bear the responsibility. President Roh must judge for himself, and I hope he does not ignore the law of justice.”

Lee said, “All responsibility for the GNP`s illegal fund-raising falls on me because it all happened under my instructions as a presidential candidate. I want the prosecution to complete the investigation as soon as possible, and punish me under the judgment of the nation`s law.”

Before this statement, he criticized, “I was disappointed with yesterday’s report released by the prosecution. I cannot help understanding that there is a political calculation if the prosecution is postponing my punishment because of the balance on dealing with President Roh.”

He also insisted, “The result of the investigation was that the big five corporations provided 70 billion won to the opposition party and 3.6 billion won to the government party. How could you say the whole process of investigation was fair with this result? Moreover, it is nonsense that another three billion won of slush funds was revealed from the government party on the very day of report.”

It was his third press conference in relation to the slush fund since last October.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-young said at the afternoon briefing that “the President is not such a coward to avoid responsibility. However, he cannot ignore his position as president. He cannot choose easily the way to shoulder the responsibility.”

Yoon also emphasized, “President Roh will hold himself responsible for the illegal electioneering. He will make an effort to ultimately reform politics and take measures to ensure that this kind of problem does not recur.”

Yeon-Wook Jung Jung-Hun Kim jyw11@donga.com jnghn@donga.com