Ex-police chief faces summons over Roh‘s ‘hidden money‘
By Yi Whan-woo
The prosecution plans to summon former police chief Cho Hyun-oh Wednesday to investigate his alleged defamation of late President Roh Moo-hyun.
The Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office said Friday that it will question Cho, 58, over his claim that Roh jumped to his death in 2009 because the prosecution found a hidden bank account belonging to him under a borrowed name.
The former commissioner of the National Police Agency came under fire for his controversial remarks in March 2010. The then-head of the Seoul Metropolitan Agency hinted 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 once said.
He also claimed that the account had a sizable amount of money.
Roh’s bereaved family filed a complaint against Cho for spreading the groundless rumors in August 2010 when Cho took over the top post at the police. He has not retracted his words since then, and even submitted written statements twice to the prosecution last year that his remarks are based on the truth.
Prosecutors will grill Cho over the libel case next week. The probe comes after he resigned last month to take responsibility for pervasive police corruption and incompetence in cracking down on grave crimes, including a recent rape-murder of a lady by a Korean-Chinese man in Suwon.
On Friday, Cho expressed regrets for possibly hurting the feelings of Roh’s family, but remained firm on his stance over his allegation about the ex-president’s hidden money.
“I’ve had regrets as Roh’s bereaved family members have become furious about my allegations,” Cho said.
“However, I still have things to say to the prosecution. I will reveal every detail, including which bank and whose name Roh’s account was registered in,” he added.
Legal affairs experts deem Cho will face criminal punishment and a penalty if he is found guilty.
“This case of alleged defamation is different from others as this case is extremely sensitive, centering on the late president,” an expert said.