President Moon Jae-in said it is going against the appointment process for Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, who protested against the recent prosecutorial reassignment, to argue that the justice minister should lay out her appointment plans first in order to seek his opinions on the appointment. President Moon added that the prosecution has been above the law if such practice was performed in the past.
President Moon’s direct criticism of Prosecutor General Yoon’s refusal to state his opinions on prosecutorial appointment is likely to fan a controversy surrounding the prosecution’s probe into the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.
Speaking at a New Year’s press conference at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday, President Moon said it is the prosecution, which has investigative power, while it is the justice minister and the president, who have the right to appointments. President Moon went on to say that it is prosecutor general’s obligation to state his or her opinions on prosecutorial reassignments when asked by the justice minister, and it is going against the appointment process for Yoon to demand to bring the list of names to a place of his choice in order to seek his opinions. President Moon used the phrase, “going against the appointment process” twice to publicly criticize Prosecutor General Yoon’s refusal to set forth his views, which Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae described as “insubordination.” President Moon said he does not want to judge Prosecutor General Yoon based on that one behavior but did not give an answer to the question if he has trust on Prosecutor General Yoon.
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