South Korea: False Letter Case Closed, Cover-up for President?

Political allegations and looming suspicions have taken over South Korea yet again, after the Prosecutor's office acquitted every one involved in the controversial ‘false letter case’ this week, igniting accusations that they are covering up for the President.

Multiple allegations have been made against South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, from the start of his presidential race in 2007. One of the most notorious cases involved in the allegations, has been the BBK Stock Price Manipulation scandal [note: BBK is the name of a paper company] which has gotten extremely complex and hazy beyond explanations, especially for outsiders to grasp. President Lee has denied all connections with the company or its controversial stock fraud scandal which gobbled up money from thousands of investors.  One devastated investor even committed suicide. [ko]

Suspicions, however, have grown stronger ever since a video clip Lee saying that he founded the company was revealed and an official company registration document was found with Lee's signature on it.

Most recently, a letter supporting Lee's claim that the BBK allegation is merely political attacks by the opposition, was proven to be a fabricated one. An investigation result on this false letter came out on July 12, 2012 and surprisingly, everyone involved in the scandal, was cleared of all charges. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office ruled that there was no ‘behind-the-scenes political influence’ that ‘masterminded the writing of the letter’.

South Koreans expressed frustration over the unclear explanation of the case, alluding that the Prosecutor's Office is once again siding with the President. @Ish4u tweeted [ko]:

Bbk수사, 가짜편진데 내용은 가짜가 아니라네요.은진수씨는가짜편지를 mb특보한테 받아서 홍준표씨에 주었다는데 검찰은 배후가 없다고.기획자라는 양씨는펄쩍뛰고.수사인지 소설인지 당최

Although the letter itself is fake, but the content is not false?! : This is the investigation result on BBK case. They ruled there is no one ‘behind the scene’, even though Eun Jin-soo testified that he passed the letter to Hong Jun-pyo [note: former chairman of the governing Saenuri party] after he first received it from the President's Special Adviser. And Mr.Yang who is accused of directing this case is still strongly denying the claim… Is this an investigation result or a fiction novel?

Many net users, such as @wiselect, questioned how they can conclude that there is no one behind the scene:

검찰, ‘BBK 가짜편지’ 전원 무혐의, ‘배후는 없다”라고 발표. […] MB의 당선을 위해 MB캠프의 핵심인물이 줄줄이 관여되어 있는데 배후가 없다? 이걸 믿어라고 내놓은 건가.

The Prosecutor's Office dropped the charges on every one involved in the BBK false letter case and announced ‘there is no one behind the scene’. […] Although those people are the core members of Lee Myung-bak's election campaign, and they still claim ‘no one behind the scene'? Do they really expect us to buy this?

User @b9ud added [ko]:

[…] 소설 구성의 3요소는 인물/사건/배경이다. […] 그런데 BBK 가짜 편지는 배후가 없다한다. 인물과 사건은 있는데 배경이 없다. 즉, 말이 안되는거다.

The three main elements of fiction are the character, plotting, and place or setting. […] But according to their explanation, the BBK's false letter doesn't have the setting. There are characters and plot, but no setting. This is why it makes no sense.

One of Twitter influencer in South Korea, @dogsul, made a snarky comment [ko]:

BBK 가짜편지 수사한 검사가 누구누구죠??? 이분들은 내년 신춘문예에 꼭 응모하셨으면 좋겠네요. 소설을 조낸 잘 쓰시니까.

Who are the prosecutors that investigated the BBK false letter case? I really think they should apply for The Annual Spring Literary Contest [note: one of South Korea's most prestigious literature  competitions] in next year. Since they are so freaking good at writing fiction.

Twitter user @hangulo quoted a famous line [ko] from a Korean soap opera:

사건을 복잡하게 만들면 국민은 잊을 겁니다 […] BBK 사건이 바로 좋은 예.

If you make things complicated, people will forget. Exhibit A: BBK case.

[note: Thumbnail image was created by Flickr User Ashley Rose, but not related with the case mentioned in the post. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)]

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