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Reasons for Ex-NIS Official`s Suicide

Posted November. 22, 2005 08:34,   


Is it because the dead can’t say anything?

Many questions are arising about what caused former National Intelligence Service deputy chief Lee Soo-il, president of Honam University, to commit suicide since he didn’t leave a will, which often discloses the reason for suicide, and with the prosecution overturning the importance of the ex-deputy’s testimony from prior to and after his suicide.

“He made many significant answers” vs. “He is not such an important figure.”-

It is known that through his three interrogations, he detailed the allegation that the former chief of NIS had been involved in the wiretapping. On November 15 right after the ex-deputy was summoned for the third time, former deputies Im Dong-won and Shin Geon were arrested.

In this respect, some analyze that the president of Honam University killed himself because he felt guilty for revealing what he knew about the allegation over his seniors.

The political community is also blamed for pressuring him; a group loyal to former President Kim Dae-jung and the Democratic Party commented that only the members of this government are asking higher posts to take responsibility.

It is more confusing that the prosecution investigating the case said, shortly after his death, that it was not focusing on the testimony of the ex-deputy. Those remarks are interpreted as words to stress that his death was not because of the investigation. That, however, is in stark contrast to the prosecution’s public briefing in which it announced that the prosecution received many meaningful answers right after the second summon on November 4.

There is even a possibility that his suicide was to protest the investigation.

Acquaintances say that they didn’t expect Lee to kill himself. It is known that he made phone calls to some acquaintances in the political community before his death.

He is said to have called the former head of the Democratic Party Han Gwang-ok last week. The two men went to same middle and high school, and the former selected the ex-deputy of NIS when he was serving as the chief of staff of the president. A man close to the head stated that he had said, “I didn’t notice any sign during the call a few days ago………..how firm he is” and looked mournful.

Former lawmaker Hyeon Gyeong-dae, a close friend who was in the same class and majored in law at Seoul National University, also said that when he had a conversation with Lee on November 18, Hyeon had felt Lee was down but had never expected Lee would kill himself.

Is there a will or not? The police thought that he would have left a will with his thoughts before committing suicide and rummaged his apartment and the office of the president in Honam University, but not a single memo has been found as of the afternoon of November 21.

The bereaved family members said that his death is hard to understand, saying they didn’t expect him to take his own life although he was suffering from the investigation.

The 57-year-old wife told the police that even though he said it was distressing while climbing Cheonggye Mountain with the family on November 13, that was all he said.

It is also analyzed that his character, not allowing any mistakes, prompted him to blame himself for all the actions and resulted in his suicide without leaving anything behind.