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Don’t exploit a death (KOR)

Dec 05,2019
Taking one’s own life is an extreme way to end the pain of rage, disappointment and hopelessness from society. Sometimes people choose death to prevent disgrace to their dignity from unfair accusations. Society has a duty to become solemn after every death and make efforts to correct the wrongs that contributed to their death.

It is shameful to witness the political wrangling over the suicide of an investigator suspected of taking orders from the Blue House to spy on former conservative Ulsan Mayor Kim Gi-hyeon and dig up dirt against him to ruin his chance of winning a second term in office in the June 13 local elections last year.

The prosecution, the police, the Blue House and rivaling parties have been arguing over who should head the forensic investigation on his death after prosecutors seized the deceased’s mobile phone from the police.

Why are the Blue House, the ruling Democratic Party and the police jointly protesting and questioning the prosecution’s forensic examination of his smartphone? What are they afraid of? Will the phone open up a Pandora’s box?

The Moon Jae-in administration has long been at odds with Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, whom the president appointed as the candidate to spearhead prosecutorial reforms ever since he launched a thorough investigation of the family members of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk over a plethora of charges. The ruling party’s floor leader, Lee In-young, went so far as to demand a special inspection of the prosecution’s investigation team and even suggested concrete ways to conduct a forensic analysis. A presidential spokeswoman joined the chorus by laying the blame on others for spreading rumors and pushing the investigator to death.

The Blue House maintains that the deceased investigator went to Ulsan to examine an ongoing brawl over whale meat between the local police and prosecution. The Blue House has unveiled phone conversations between the investigator and the prosecution to raise the possibility of prosecutors forcibly probing him over the Blue House’s alleged involvement in the local election. However, colleagues of the deceased testified that he had been under a great deal of pressure after getting calls from the office of the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs at the Blue House.

How can the Moon administration claim to be “fair and just” under such circumstances? In countries like the United States, the president and other senior officials can be penalized — or even impeached — if they try to meddle in prosecutorial probes. Blue House officials paid a visit to the funeral site and promised the family of the investigator that they will find the cause of his death.

What his death demands is a thorough investigation into the truth so that such misfortunes do not repeat. Politicians must stop their involvement in the prosecution’s investigations.