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[Editorial] President Roh Should Testify at Court Hearing

[Editorial] President Roh Should Testify at Court Hearing

Posted March. 18, 2004 23:13,   


The Constitutional Court has decided to request President Roh to make a testimony at the first impeachment hearing scheduled for March 30. Under the Constitutional Court law, he has a right to be present at the hearing but is not required to. However, his hearing appearance is recommended.

There is broad public consensus that the absence of the president must not be dragged on. His no-show would leave little option with the court but to reschedule the hearing. If he does not show up at the rescheduled hearing then the court will start the hearing without further rescheduling. President Roh’s no-show will delay the hearing.

While his legal counsel can tell how he perceives about the legality of his deed, a direct testimony is more accurate for the sake of fair ruling. Although there is a difference in legal procedure, the U.S. can offer an example. In 1998 when President Clinton was under probes for impeachment charges, a special prosecutor questioned him for approximately four hours to bring his case to the grand jury.

President Roh’s lawyers said in an opinion that Roh is not legislatively required to appear at the hearing. They demanded the dignity that matches the grace of the president once he decides to make a testimony in person. President Roh is not criminally charged. He should implement duties as president pending the Constitutional Court ruling. The fact should be clarified. The level of consideration for due grace and dignity for the president should be determined by Constitutional Court judges and counselors according to their knowledge and conscience.

Both parties involved in the case should confirm the existence of democracy and the rule of law with straightforward questions and answers. With the court set to start hearings, politicians and civil-society groups must restrain themselves from any activity that could interfere with the court’s ruling.