Published : 2013-10-07 22:03
Updated : 2013-10-07 22:03
Prosecutors on Monday summoned former presidential records secretary Im Sang-kyeong in their stepped-up probe into the suspected deletion and failed handover of the transcript of the 2007 inter-Korean summit.
Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office was expected to focus questioning on the events that led to the deletion of the records from Cheong Wa Dae’s e-Jiwon database system, and the reason for the data not having been transferred to the National Archives.
Im was the first of some 30 aides and officials to be summoned by the prosecutors. Sources said Democratic Party Rep. Moon Jae-in, who was chief of staff to late President Roh Moo-hyun and last year’s presidential candidate, may also be called in.
Im served as the archives secretary from 2006 to December 2007 and oversaw the preparation for the transfer of presidential records at the end of Roh’s administration. In 2008, Im served as the founding head of the Presidential Archives.
Last week, the prosecutors announced that the transcript containing the controversial comments allegedly made by Roh during his meeting with then-leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il over the Northern Limit Line border was never transferred to the National Archives. They also said that they discovered and reconstructed a deleted version that has “significant differences” with the copy held by the National Intelligence Service and another version found in the e-Jiwon system taken to Roh’s retirement home in Bongha.
Prosecutors are currently looking into who ordered the deletion of the transcript in question and how and why the deletion took place. Attention is also focused on the difference in content between the deleted draft and the draft found at Bongha.
“Bongha e-Jiwon seems to hold the most important key. We are looking into every single detail thoroughly,” a prosecution official said.
They said they plan to summon witnesses one by one that will include officials who had been in charge of maintaining the archives and developing the e-Jiwon system, as well as former speech secretary Kim Kyung-soo, who is now the director at the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation.
The prosecutors are also expected to summon former security secretary Cho Myung-kyun, who was questioned on Saturday. Reports said Cho testified there was no direct order by Roh to delete the transcript, changing his testimony from January this year.
Rival parties, meanwhile, continued to butt heads over the misplacement of the transcript, with the ruling Saenuri Party escalating calls for the disclosure of the voice recording of the controversial summit meeting.
“If the DP continues its tantrum and makes such various excuses, we cannot but reveal the (recording) as the ultimate choice,” said ruling Saenuri Party floor leader Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan.
Choi also demanded Moon respond to prosecutors’ summons should he be called.
“If someone manipulated and concealed the original copy with a political intention, this conforms to a manipulation of history, making this an extremely grave and important case where the person would be responsible historically and ethically to the next generation.”
The DP attacked the Saenuri Party’s demand for the release of the recording as a political strategy and claimed the ruling party and the prosecutors were colluding to blow up the NLL scandal.
“The Saenuri Party’s push to disclose the recording is ridiculous. (The Saenuri Party) must refrain from trying to sell out on this NLL controversy until the final investigation results are out,” said DP floor leader Jun Byung-hun.
The party also called on the prosecutors to also investigate the suspected leakage of the summit transcript by Saenuri Party members during last year’s presidential election.