Saenuri’s Lee calls investigation into Roh daughter ill-timed
Published : Mar 2, 2012 - 15:03
Updated : Mar 2, 2012 - 19:06
A top figure in the Saenuri Party said Friday that it would not be right for public prosecutors to investigate allegations of corruption involving the family of late President Roh Moo-hyun in the run-up to a major election.

“If the prosecution intends to look into those allegations, it is within reason to start it after the parliamentary election,” Lee Sang-don, a member of the ruling party’s emergency leadership council, said on a radio program.

State prosecutors are said to have started looking into an allegation that Jeong-youn, the late liberal president’s daughter, bought a house in the U.S. with bribes which her father allegedly stashed.

The prosecution had ended its probe into the bribery case after Roh committed suicide.

“A probe (into Roh’s daughter) could be seen as being politically timed, with the parliamentary election just around the corner. The prosecutors didn’t do anything on it for the past three years, why now?” Lee said.

Opposition parties are claiming that the prosecution is re-opening the case to harm the reputation of Roh and his followers ahead of the crucial elections.

The main opposition Democratic United Party is currently headed by a prominent Roh follower, Han Myeong-sook, and his chief of staff and long-time friend Moon Jae-in is rising strongly as the party’s potential presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Kwon Jae-jin said the prosecution investigates independently, not under his direction or that of his predecessor Kim Kyung-han.

Former minister Kim, who declared the end of the investigation into Roh after his death, recently called the prosecutors, saying that what he said closed was the case into Roh, not the case into his family.

“The probe team would not take Kim’s message as a guideline on the case,” Kwon said, during a National Assembly session on Friday.

By Lee Sun-young (