Posted : 2009-04-29 17:36
Updated : 2009-04-29 17:36

Summons of Ex-President

Roh Should Confess Whole Truth About Corruption

April is a cruel month for former President Roh Moo-hyun, who is mired in a corruption scandal. Thursday is the last day of April, but it's not the end of Roh's tribulations, rather it is the start of his uphill battle against prosecutors who have tentatively concluded he received huge bribes from a businessman during his five-year term.

It's a shame for South Koreans to see the ex-president grilled over his alleged involvement in the high-profile bribery scheme. Roh also has no way of avoiding the humiliation as he is the third former head of state to be summoned as a criminal suspect following his ignominious predecessors Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo.

The interrogation process will be the highlight of the day. What's at stake is whether Roh admits to claims of prosecutors that he was the real recipient of over $6 million from his financial supporter Park Yeon-cha, the CEO of Busan-based shoemaker Taekwang.

Roh's answers to investigators' questions are likely to be elusive. On Saturday, he submitted a written statement in response to the prosecution's queries. It was reported that Roh denied his involvement in the scandal and refused to answer many of the questions. He also went into detail about a criminal suspect's rights. Therefore, he's expected to repeat his previous claims that his wife, Kwon Yang-sook, took $1 million from Park to repay a debt.

Roh may also claim he didn't know until his retirement that Yeon Cheol-ho, the husband of his niece, had received $5 million from Park. Roh has already said that the money was a ``normal" investment in Yeon's business. There's a strong possibility that Roh might only try to find an excuse to avoid any charges against him.

We urge Roh to reveal the entire truth in order not to deceive himself as well as the nation about the corruption scandal. He has already betrayed the people by breaking his promise to eliminate corruption and usher in ``clean" politics and only proven that he was a hypocrite who cheated the people with his double moral standards. In the end, he was forced to virtually declare moral bankruptcy.

In his latest Internet postings, Roh said he lost his honor and moral integrity as a former president. He added that he's no longer entitled to talk about the progress of democracy and justice. But it's certain that he's still as arrogant as he was in office. His words appear to lack sincerity and truthfulness. Roh, a career lawyer and shrewd politician, is apparently engrossed in defending himself and using legal loopholes to escape potential charges.

He should not betray the people once again, and reveal the truth about the bribery case. What he needs most is courage to speak frankly and then seek forgiveness from the people. It's time for him to take moral and legal responsibility for his alleged involvement in the scandal. And the investigation into Roh should not be driven by political motivations. Rather, they must serve as an opportunity to ensure the rule of law and step up an anti-corruption campaign.
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