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Covering Up the Truth

Posted August. 24, 2010 08:09,   


National Police Agency Commissioner-designate Cho Hyun-oh continued to avoid answering Monday questions raised by lawmakers on his comment about the alleged borrowed-name bank account of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun at Cho`s parliamentary confirmation hearing. Cho repeatedly said, “I feel sorry for unintentionally causing trouble for former President Roh, his surviving family and the people,” and “It is inappropriate to mention more than this.” He might have wanted to tide over the controversy by just saying “sorry” or “It was an inappropriate comment.” Yet he knew that saying “It was groundless” would raise doubts over his qualification and saying “There was supporting evidence” could bring on a bigger problem.

Cho mentioned the account in question March 31 in a lecture to 400 task force commanders. His comment was pretty specific considering that it was an internal lecture. He tried to explain his comment in a way already expressed on the Internet or weekly magazines, but this has not been on the Web or in weekly magazines. Did he see the “100,000 won (84.60 U.S. dollars) check” in a police information report? Nonetheless, it cannot be covered just roughly like this.

Whether Roh had an account in another person’s name is now a topic of national interest. Prosecutors are investigating to find the truth as the Roh Moo Hyun Foundation accused Cho of defaming the deceased to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. The ruling Grand National Party wants to introduce an independent investigation. Cho might try to cover up his comment but there is no turning back. He must confess everything he knows since he brought it up and be responsible for what he said. He might survive the confirmation hearing with his attitude, but cannot pass the prosecutors’ investigation freely.

Those who know this well are not police but prosecutors. Preserved investigation documents should be taken out and prosecutors who were involved in the probe must tell the truth. This is a fair way of handling the issue. There is no time for idling considering the political aftermath. No one can and should not cover the truth of Roh’s borrowed-name account.

The main opposition party claims that this will kill Roh twice, but unless the truth is unveiled, this will rather kill the truth and the people’s right to know at the same time. Both the ruling and opposition camps should also not resolve this issue with a political deal.