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[Editorial] Candlelight Demonstration Supports Swindler

Posted December. 06, 2007 08:32,   


The results of the prosecutors’ investigations into BBK suspicions which could affect Lee Myung-bak, presidential front-runner, came out on Wednesday. They said that the allegations were all groundless. The suspicions that emerged in the middle of primary elections and made former president of Grand National Party Lee Hoi-chang develop his “spare candidate theory” were found to be groundless as well.

The BBK case surfaced as prosecutors got Kim Gyeong-jun’s prosecution suspended and asked the U.S. to extradite him after investigating complaints made by the Financial Supervisory Service in 2002. If Lee had been an accomplice to the embezzlement and stock price manipulation, about 5,000 victims would have come up with countermeasures when Kim fled, and Lee would no doubt have been troubled by the charges during his election for Seoul mayor and his tenure as mayor.

Prosecutors were under pressure by both political parties in the process of their investigations. Members of the United New Democratic Party who were obsessed with the BBK case visited the prosecution building in a group and staged a demonstration. Some media exaggerated the suspicions by broadcasting statements made by Kim’s family.

Prosecutors made an enormous effort to draw strictly fair conclusions amid such pressure. Even though the prosecution was pressed by a deadline, it tracked the flow of an offshore BBK fund, searched accounting records of the DAS company dating back to 1998, and investigated related people extensively. The prosecution had no choice but to find the truth because the nation and politics focused on the scandal. Moreover, former Prosecutor General Chung Sang-myung and present Prosecutor General Im Chae-jin were both appointed by President Roh Moo-hyun.

Kim’s memo, which came out one day ahead of the result of the investigation, was a trick to cover up the crime to the end. It does not make sense that prosecutors, who recorded the process of their investigation, proposed to lessen his imprisonment to three years in return for clearing Lee Myung-bak of charges related to Kim, who was engaged in the embezzlement of 31.9 billion won and document forgery. However, presidential candidates Chung Dong-young and Lee Hoi-chang raised the question of public trust in the prosecution investigation with Kim’s memo. This was an example of old-fashioned political maneuvering.

We see that the United New Democratic Party’s candlelight demonstration against the prosecution investigation at Gwanghwamun was just to confuse election results with incitement and black and white propaganda, regardless of the truth of the BBK. They made the prosecution investigation happen by accusing Lee Myung-bak and are now impairing the rule of law with a candlelight demonstration. It is ridiculous that even Lee Hoi-chang, who was a former Chief Justice and who is known to strictly obey the law, is following this line of reasoning. They should not look down on the public.