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Prosecution Prepares to Extinguish Scandal

Posted February. 07, 2007 07:05,   


Indicating how serious the matter is, prosecutors have responded swiftly to the disclosure that they forced false statements in investigating the JU Group case by making a public apology and taking measures against the prosecutor concerned, on the same day, February 6, the news was released.

It is unprecedented that a public apology was given by the prosecution even before the facts concerning the case were given.

The Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors` Office explained, “[We] did not compel [the suspect] and just demanded the truth,” and that “no one can or should force a false statement to be made.” In saying so, it alluded to the possibility of the recording being edited.

Lee Chun-seong, the assistant prosecutor general of the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors` Office, insisted that, “The context was somewhat distorted, with the parts of the recording ahead of and following the revealed part cut off. [This disclosure] contains the intention of the JU Group to have influence over the approaching decision on Chairman Joo Soo-do.”

In fact, Kim, a former executive of JU, secretly recorded five hours of questioning with a pen recorder; the overall context of the conversation has not been revealed yet.

But the chief executives of the prosecution are taking what has been publicized serious.

Expressing concern, a high-ranking officer of the prosecution said, “What on earth has happened?”

It was disclosed that the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors` Office received secret information that Kim was contacting the press with his recorded data at the end of last month, but carried out an independent investigation into Kim and the press company concerned without reporting the matter to the Supreme Court.

When the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors` Office adhered to its story up until noon that day, the prosecution chief immediately ordered Sun Woo-young, the chief of the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors` Office, to make a public apology by addressing the nation himself and disclosing its plan to take measures against the prosecutor concerned, to organize a special inspection team, and to implement a supervised investigation.

Its judgment was that trust in the prosecution could collapse instantly if the controversy went on, whatever the findings of the supervisory investigation. In addition, the fact that unrevealed recordings exist worked as an influential factor.

The man who allegedly sent the digital file recorded with a pen-recorder to a press company, in a phone-interview with Yonhap News Agency, said, “The file which Kim recorded contains words [of the prosecution] forcing Kim to make false statements to link Lee Jae-soon, the former secretary to the president, with me and saying that [the prosecution] will overlook other scandals if Kim cooperated.”

He also said, “When Kim refused to cooperate, the prosecutor in charge came to the conclusion later that Kim had received money from some Choi, made additional indictments on Kim, and also indicted Choi of private corruption.”

“As far as I know there are two or three more files that are not revealed,” he added.