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Prosecutor Implicated in Wiretapping Scandal Says He Won’t Resign

Prosecutor Implicated in Wiretapping Scandal Says He Won’t Resign

Posted September. 02, 2005 07:16,   


“I really didn’t like being perceived or mentioned as a brother-in-law of the Samsung chairman or a brother of the JoongAng Ilbo president. I said directly many times why people don’t see me as who I am, and call me who I am?”

Hong Seok-jo (52), the chief of the Gwangju High Prosecutor`s Office who was allegedly said to have received bribes from the Samsung Group in the “X-file,” the wiretapped material from the National Security Planning Agency, expressed himself for the first time since September 1. Hong is a blood brother of the former JoongAng Ilbo president and a brother-in-law of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee.

Hong posted seven pages of writing titled “To Members of the Public Prosecutor’s Office” on its intranet on that day, which marks 29 years since he started as a prosecutor.

He wrote “I’m sorry for our members of the public prosecutor’s office. However, I cannot accept why I am put in this situation where I should write this. What on earth did I do?”

He revealed, “I have kept silent as I was afraid giving an explanation might sound like a lame excuse. But I came to write this in fear that silence may seem like an admission.”

Hong went on to insist that he was never handed over money from his brother to lobby prosecutors for Samsung, and that he could not imagine his brother-in-law and his brother used him to lobby for Samsung and made up something.

He also told frankly about how he lived as a prosecutor. He said he had a lot of difficulties in behaving as people have high expectations toward the haves in our society, so he aimed to act properly and not to be told that he wasted his money because he is rich while not being told he was stingy.

He sounded like he got upset at this part, saying, “Frankly speaking, if I didn’t intend to succeed as a prosecutor to the end, I would have thrown much better dinner parties for my juniors and staff. I had not even brought my juniors to places where I cannot go without being beholden to others.”

He wrote that it is distressing and hurting his pride to write on this occasion, and explained relatively in detail the relationship among himself, Samsung and JoongAng Ilbo.

He revealed, “I really hated being perceived sometimes as a brother-in-law of Samsung chairman and sometimes as a brother of the JoongAng Ilbo president. But I couldn’t do anything about it, so I gave up, kept my distance from Samsung and JoongAng Ilbo, and lived my life as a prosecutor.”

He added, “I have lived my life having a dream and the ambition of being a prosecutor. I never imagined my public career would be tainted because of money as it is said that I am the richest of the administration’s public officials.

He made it clear that he doesn’t intend to resign, saying, “I don’t have lingering attachment to an official position, but if I quit now, it may seem like I am admitting such an absurd allegation.”