Prosectors Prematurely Allege Guilt of Ex-President’s Brother

Roh Geon-pyeong is entering the Changwon district Prosecutors' office for questioning.

Netizens attack prosecutors investigating the late president Roh Moo-hyun‘s brother for allegations of bribery for prematurely and publicly suggesting a bank account containing the equivalent of millions of dollars was explicitly linked to someone close to him.

Ex-president Roh Moo-hyun took his own life in May 2009 after jumping off a cliff near his hometown in rural Bongha three years ago yesterday.

From Nate:

Prosecutors Distort Words Over Roh Gun-pyeong’s [Bribery] Allegations

The Prosecutors’ Office’s recent announcement over the corruption allegation of the late ex-President Roh Moo-hyun’s older brother [Roh Gun-pyeong] that claimed they had ‘found tens of billions of won in a bank account related to Mr. Roh Geon-pyeong,’ has been criticized for generating confusion over such a politically sensitive case by making such a hasty announcement.

The Special Investigation Department of the Changwon District Prosecutors’ Office (Senior Prosecutor: Kim Ki-hyun) announced that ‘we’ve found tens of millions of won in a bank account belonging to an individual suspected to be Gun-pyeong’s money manager [and so] we’re probing into the source of the money,’ after calling Mr. Roh in twice for questioning about suspicion of a violation of the ‘Attorney-at-Law-Act’ and embezzlement on the 15th and 17th, respectively.

This big chunk of money was brought to the suface at the last minute of the investigation over Mr. Roh’s case. He reportedly said that ‘The investigation is politically motivated’ on the 20th. The owner of the bank account, an acquaintance of Mr Roh’s, flatly denied the allegation. Mr. Roh’s attorney even went so far as to state that he would ‘sue the prosecutor who disclosed the allegation to the press.’

However, the prosecutors’ office has been avoiding the media since controversy over the announcement started to spread. Someone related to their office mentioned that ‘It would take more than ten days to figure out who the real owner of the money is.’

A source related to the inspection authorities said ‘I doubt that prosecutors were testing the water, even before making a firm direction for the prosecution.’ The aftermath of the prosecution could be huge, yet prosecutors have implicitly suggested that Mr. Roh was the owner of the bank account without offering any convincing evidence.

It is customary to thoroughly comb facts such as the size, usage, source, and related people of alleged bribe money by tracing bank accounts via ‘search and seizure’, before releasing such information to the press. In the case of Mr Roh, the prosecutors have used sensational phrases such as ‘possible bribery bank account’ or ‘tens of millions of won’, fanning the public’s suspicion.

Some suspect the prosecutors’ had ulterior motives for knowingly revealing such allegations, [suggesting that] it could be a move aimed at both the late ex-President Roh and his people, following the three year anniversary of Mr. Roh’s death. Netizens have also criticised prosectors for unfairly focusing on Mr. Roh’s case, leaving the case of President Lee Myung-bak’s brother alone.

The prosecutors are expected to share indictments after the 23rd to avoid unnecessary political debates. Mr Roh is under allegations that he received 900 million won from a construction company for helping them get approval on reclaiming public waters in Tongyeong and embezzling millions of won of business funds for his private matters.

Comments from Nate:

정준모:

The Prosecutors’ office ought to be the first subject of reform here.

김경주:

Is this what political power is capable of?

강남훈:

Be as enthusiastic about MB’s associates as you are about Mr. Roh’s case!

배석호:

This really sucks.

김영균:

Does anyone believe what prosecutors say these days anyway?

안지숙:

Rubbish prosecutors…

박진영:

Bribed-prosecutors, Sex-bribed prosecutors, Rats [referring to Lee Myung-bak’s circle], Saenuri Party members, Chicken-heads, conservative newspapers… They see imaginary things every night, still afraid of Roh Moo-hyun. Tsk Tsk

이정식:

What sort of serious corruption does it take to be afraid of a deceased person for three years?

김정민:

Prosecutors said it WAS Geon-pyeong’s bank account but now they’re saying it was Geon-pyeong’s possible associate’s bank account! Don’t play with your words, you bribed-prosecutors.

김남득:

If there is a god… I hope he never forgives them.

설경민:

They’re behaving like the Chosun Ilbo. They just do it without taking responsibility. That paper puts unfounded articles on the front page, then publishes its correction articles on bottom of the 13th page!

조상형:

Hey prosecutors, please hear me out. You’re dogs. You’re thieves! Are you angry with me or not? Whatever…. This is what you prosecutors are doing. It is too obvious and dishonest to reveal information about such allegations whilst they’re undergoing investigation. How many Koreans are you going to deceive with this attitude?

최태인:

Prosecutors were supposed to find out who the real owner is before disclosing the allegation. With this attitude, everyone with a rich neighbour would be a criminal.

홍순창:

I want the Prosecutor General’s resignation. What he does is ass-kissing for President Lee, harassing the late president Roh’s associates.. and letting out not-yet-proven information to conservative newspapers…

김재우:

It reminds me of late President Roh’s allegation. One of the prosecutors said ‘Lady Gwon Yang-sook throw away a watch she received as a bribe into a paddy field,’ which, whilst totally fictitious, loads of us still believed it. When prosecutors deliberately disseminate unfounded information through an unofficial route, the public still believe it. They are playing with the media. It’s hard to shake the thought that this allegation is an extension of the late president’s case. It’s despicable.

진정현:

Ahhhh.. How they test the water like this! Those brainless prosecutors are claiming that they don’t have to strictly follow the Criminal Procedure Law, what rubbish.. ke ke Anyway somebody should stand up against them… they must be punished for abusing their positions.

김인호:

This allegation is nothing more than a distraction from the savings banks scandal of the President’s brother.

강기현:

Conservative newspapers released this story well before the allegations came out.

박춘주:

Both the Chief of Police and the Prosecutor General are literally shitting words.

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  • Godori

    Sofa! Pretty amazing they’re still poking Roh’s body around…

    • Stories of butts

      No such thing as total rest, even for the dead.

  • mouse

    The dude killed himself, but of course that’s not enough.

    Why not go after Lee Myung Bak’s family?

  • Matt

    Not a terribly huge deal, but you might want to check the “was received bribes” on the front page…

    [/feels guilty for well-intentioned Grammar-Nazism…]

    • James

      Oops! Not even a typo, just a bit of debris left in after an old edit. Thanks Matt.

  • Brett Sanbon

    I like that netizens have enough common sense to challenge the media and authority when both abuse their powers. Good job Korean citizens.

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