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Strict investigations against 'exiting powers' are needed

Strict investigations against 'exiting powers' are needed

Posted November. 08, 2017 07:58,   

Updated November. 08, 2017 08:47

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The prosecution arrested three people without a warrant including a person whose surname has been identified as Yoon, a former aide to former lawmaker Jun Byung-hun, who is serving as senior presidential secretary for political affairs, not to mention seizing and searching their homes. The prosecution confirmed that Lotte Home Shopping Inc. funded 300 million won in donation to Korea e-Sports Association in 2015 and are making efforts to identify allegation of bribery. Jun chaired the Association before becoming a presidential secretary earlier this year. This is the first time the incumbent government is carrying out an investigation against people surrounding presidential office Cheong Wa Dae’s key members, who are “existing powers.”

The investigation is targeting the former aide to Jun. Evidence that Yoon and others received a massive amount of money and valuables such as gift certificates has been acquired. However, some people say that it is not just Yoon, who caused problems in the home shopping industry. During investigation over Lotte Home Shopping’s slush funds last year, there was suspicion of Jun’s involvement but investigation did not take place.

Jun, who was a three-time lawmaker under the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee during the previous National Assembly, was at a position to exercise considerable amount of clout during the process of re-approving home shopping. He also chaired the e-Sports Association from 2013 to 2016. Why would Lotte give a donation worth 300 million won to the association while Jun served as chairperson? Thorough investigation must be conducted in order to identify whether there was any sign of compensation. Investigation should not only focus on the flow of funds but also investigate Jun, if necessary.

At the national audit of the Education, Culture, Sports, and Tourism Committee, Yeo Myung-sook, head of the Game Rating and Administration Committee, received attention for her bombshell statements. When asked about the power behind the “game scandal,” she said, “Presidential Secretary Jun, game media, where Yoon was a part of, the Game Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Professor Kim, who claim to be Jun’s friend back home, are involved.” Jun denied all allegations, saying, “Yeo’s arguments are all lies”. However, now that Yoon, who was specifically mentioned by Yeo Myung-sook, is arrested, there must be something going on.

Investigations to clean up deep-rooted irregularities, which has been No.1 agenda of the Moon Jae-in administration, are being carried out in all directions. A senior prosecutor, who was suspected of obstructing a probe into the National Intelligence Service’s alleged political meddling, committed suicide right before an arrest warrant hearing, and the prosecution claim that unreasonable and oppressive investigation led to this tragedy. The investigation team led by Yun Seok-yeol, head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, should also be able to conduct a harsh and objective investigation against those who currently exercise power. Only then, can the vow to clean up deep-rooted irregularities gain justification. The death of the senior prosecutor left many people in and outside of the prosecution to have a negative eye towards the investigation to eradicate irregularities. There will not be any room left for the prosecution to stand if their investigation is merely a pure political spin to avoid being perceived as carrying out investigations only against figures from the former Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak administrations, who are now “out of power.”