Ex-police chief apologizes to late Roh’s family
By Lee Tae-hoon
Former police chief Cho Hyun-oh apologized Wednesday to the family members of the late President Roh Moo-hyun over his past remarks that the former president’s suicide might have been linked to potential corruption.
“I am very sorry for having offended the late President and his bereaved family,” the former commissioner of the National Police Agency said at the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office after seven hours of questioning.
He was summoned by the prosecution for his alleged defamation of Roh, whom Cho claimed jumped to his death in 2009 because the prosecution had found a hidden bank account belonging to him under a borrowed name.
However, the former police chief refused to elaborate when asked whether he produced evidence that supported his claim about a bogus account.
“I am sorry to have caused a stir with my inappropriate remarks,” he said.
Cho came under fire for his controversial remarks in March 2010 for hinting that the late President’s suicide might have been related to potential corruption.
“Wasn’t it the case that a bank account under a false name belonging to Roh was discovered a day before he jumped off the cliff?” he said.
Roh’s bereaved family filed a complaint against Cho for spreading “malicious rumors” in August 2010 when he took over the top post at the police.
The former police head submitted written statements twice to the prosecution last year that said his controversial remarks are based on the truth.
The prosecutors’ investigation comes following his resignation last month to take responsibility for police corruption, and incompetence in tackling serious crimes, including the rape-murder of a women by a Korean-Chinese man in Suwon.
Cho also expressed regret for possibly hurting the feelings of Roh’s family last week, but remained firm on his stance over his allegation about the ex-president’s hidden money.
“I’ve expressed regrets as Roh’s bereaved family members have become furious about my allegations,” Cho said.