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Cheong Wa Dae Opposes Special Prosecutor Bill

Posted November. 15, 2007 03:58,   


The United New Democratic Party (UNDP), Democratic Labor Party (DLP) and Creative Korea Party (CKP) submitted a bill to the National Assembly to adopt a special prosecutor system in order to get to the bottom of the Samsung Group slush fund scandal raised by lawyer Kim Yong-cheol on November 14.

The Grand National Party (GNP) decided to submit a bill today for appointing a special prosecutor to investigate both the election funds in 2002 and a “congratulatory fund”, which set up for Roh Moo-hyun, the president-elect in 2002.

The UNDP and GNP will have a meeting to iron out differences between the two bills, but due to a huge gap in opinion regarding the illegal issuing of convertible bonds by Samsung Everland, and the investigation into election fund irregularities, the prospects of reaching an agreement seem remote.

The UNDP, DLP, and CKP plan to conclude talks related to the proposed bill, which was drawn up by 150 lawmakers, before November 23. Issues that will be addressed according to the bill by special prosecutors are: under-priced issuing of Samsung SDS bonds with warrants and Everland convertible bonds; slush funds and whether they were used to bribe those in the legal, public, media and academic sectors; and the borrowing of accounts of current and incumbent Samsung employees, among others.

The president will appoint a special prosecutor among two candidates recommended by the chief justice, and the special investigation needs to be completed within 90 days after 20 days of preparation. The investigation may be extended twice, up to 90 days (60 and 30 days for each extension).

The three parties that introduced the bill said, “The Samsung Group committed wrongdoings systematically in order to succeed ownership rights to owner families, and investigations conducted by ordinary prosecutors are untrustworthy as they received slush funds from the conglomerate.” All 129 GNP lawmakers who drew up the bill plan to submit it today.

The GNP’s bill addresses issues to be covered by a special prosecutor, including alleged slush funds and how Samsung accumulated and utilized them; how the funds were used to foot presidential election bills; and how they were spent on illegal lobbying.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Cheon Ho-seon commented on the bills and asked the political parties to reconsider, saying, “The subjects of investigation are very broad, and some of the issues are already being dealt with in court. The investigations could be drawn out as well, which could have serious implications for the nation’s legal system.” This may be a sign of a possible veto of the bills by the presidential office.

Cheon commented on the GNP’s bill that will include probes into President Roh’s alleged illegal election and congratulatory funds, saying, “It is a malicious attempt to include groundless accusations in the bill.”