Prosecutor Son Joon-seong and People Power Party lawmaker Kim Ung, the key figures of the so-called “criminal complaint incitement” scandal, were summoned for questioning by the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials on , after 55 days since the initiation of the investigation. As the parties concerned were uncooperative and warrants were readily requested, direct investigation has taken place belatedly. However, there are still major unresolved questions ahead.
Prosecutor Son, who is suspected of having written the first bill of indictment because of the telegram text message “Send Jun-seong Son,” reportedly denied allegations and reasoned that he had received numerous criminal intelligence information during his term as chief of investigation information policy at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, and that he sent back the file to the informant to make certain that the information was not accepted. According to Son, although he does not remember the situation at the time, someone sent a bill of indictment, which he rejected by means of sending it back, and the returned file might have somehow found its way to Representative Kim.
Rep. Kim, who transferred the bill of indictment at issue to informant Cho Seong-eun, said he did not remember the identity of the informant and the context. “The criminal complaint incitement is groundless accusation. The recording [released by Cho] does not reveal any evidence of former Prosecutor General Yun Seok-youl’s involvement,” said Rep. Kim. “If the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office gave [the bill of indictment to me], why would I have said ‘I will say a good word to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office? That does not make sense,” Rep Kim. argued.
kHowever, Prosecutor Son and Rep. Kim are providing a lousy explanation. Telegram does not provide a return function, contrary to what Prosecutor Son argues. Nor is there any sign of fabrication of the text message “Send Jun-seong Son.” The prosecutor does not offer a clear explanation of how Prosecutor Son’s name was mentioned as the sender. Rep. Kim even said, “We will draft and send a bill of indictment.” Still, the two are feigning innocence by repeating that they do not remember. No wonder they are being suspected of hiding the truth.
Prosecutor Son and Rep. Kim are availing themselves of the strategy of playing dumb and time-wasting. However, suspicions of the criminal complaint incitement cannot be hushed up or blown over, as they are tangled with the controversy over the privatization of prosecutorial powers.
The recording files of Rep. Kim, including the one containing Rep. Kim, saying, “Fake it as though the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office unwillingly accepted,” need to be scrutinized in detail. The Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials should prove its competence by identifying who the “We” is, in addition to the so-called “information incitement” involving National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won.