South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Tuesday vetoed a special counsel bill that had been passed by the country's parliament on investigation over former presidential aids.
In a cabinet meeting held earlier Tuesday, Roh said it was difficult for him to accept the bill, because the cases were being investigated by prosecutors. He said he would accept the opposition bill if the prosecution probe ended inconclusively and unsatisfactorily, reported South Korean news TV channel YTN.
"I've decided to ask the National Assembly to reconsider the bill in deference to the Constitution and related principles," Roh said. "The decision is important because we should not leave a bad precedence in handling state affairs and laws."
The president also noted that under the law, a special counsel investigation was a supplemental tool needed when a prosecution probe fell short of expectations.
More than two weeks ago, the country's unicameral parliament passed the bill submitted by the biggest opposition the Grand National Party (GNP).
Roh's three former aids, who had already resigned, were unveiled to have received huge money from South Korean local SK Group and other famous companies such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor after Roh won the presidential election late last year.
However, some high ranking officials of the GNP also were found to have receive funds from local business groups. The GNP claimed the prosecution could not carry on fair investigation and an independent special counsel was necessary.
Roh Moo-hyun in October abruptly announced that he would hold referendum on his confidence around mid-December and pledged to let prosecutions thoroughly probe his assistants involved in the alleged scandals.
Roh also announced that he would step down if he failed to win the public trust.