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[Editorial] The Truth About Roh’s Campaign Funds

Posted April. 21, 2007 03:13,   


Former Prosecutor General Song Kwang-soo has exposed the outrageous political threat that he received from the Roh Moo-hyun administration while carrying out his investigation into illicit presidential campaign funds. Song also suggested that, unlike President Roh’s assurances that the total amount of the campaign funds that his camp received was less than one tenth of what his rival candidate Lee Hoi-chang’s camp received, Roh’s camp received about two tenths or three tenths of what Lee’s camp received. That’s what Song said on Thursday during a special lecture at Soongsil University. If the statement is true, it virtually proves the fact that the Roh administration has not only concealed the truth by threatening prosecutors, but also committed a shameful fraud against the public.

“I will step down as president should my presidential campaign funds surpass one-tenth of what the opposition Grand National Party took during the last presidential campaign,” President Roh said when the case was under investigation.

However, in response to the prosecution’s thorough investigation, the Roh administration said, “Prosecutors have been pushing the investigation too hard for the sake of their fame.” Moreover, it intimidated the prosecution by saying it would abolish the Central Investigation Department in the Supreme Public Prosecutors` Office that was undertaking the investigation, according to Song.

This shows how arrogant the Roh administration has been. How can it claim to be the commander of state affairs in a democratic country? Even past authoritarian governments did not threaten the prosecution like this.

After a nine-month investigation into presidential election funds, the prosecution announced in May 2004 that the GNP spent $87.5 million and Roh’s camp spent $12.7 million. If the figures are correct, Roh’s camp spent 15 percent of what Lee’s camp spent. However, the prosecutors did not arrest anyone, saying, “There is no evidence that indicates the two candidates were involved in raising illicit campaign funds.” President Roh also did not bear the political responsibility for exceeding the one-tenth that he had promised. In addition, the prosecutors did not investigate the alleged suspicions that Samsung provided $53 million in illegal campaign funds.

If the Roh’s election campaign funds were, in fact, two tenths or three tenths of the GNP’s, the prosecutors must reveal the details to the public. If the investigation was suspended due to political pressure, the prosecutors must resume their investigation to uncover the truth behind it regardless of the three-year statute of limitations. First, Cheong Wa Dae must honestly answer the questions raised by Song’s remarks.