The prosecution, which has been criticized for being lenient with Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae, has come under fire for its increasingly overt effort to help let the ruling party off the hook. With only a couple of weeks left until the statute of limitations expires, the prosecution is exonerating ruling party members from all charges for the violation of the public official election act during the April 15 general elections. It has also been revealed that it omitted statements against members of the presidential office and the ruling party it gained during an investigation into the Optimus Asset Management fraud.
The prosecution dropped their charges against ruling party members on the grounds that the violations were made without their knowledge even when they clearly broke the law and prosecuted only working-level officials. The district public prosecutors’ office in Gwangju prosecuted only four people who allegedly created a call room where they made phone calls to win support for Rep. Yang Hyang-ja of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea. Rep. Go Min-jeong who was accused of distributing illegal election flyers was also acquitted after her aide said she was not aware of the activity.
Meanwhile, Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office has omitted statements in its Optimus case which has been dragging despite allegations of corruption. Executive Director Yoon, a lawyer who got arrested for allegations of fund frauds, submitted a document that listed the names and positions of about 20 high-level officials in the financial sector and ruling party members and made statements about it. However, it was included only in an interview report and an internal investigation report but was missing in a protocol of examination of a suspect. The omission of reports and statements made by a key individual involved in a case is nothing short of an interruption of the investigation.
The public are watching, in frustration, how far the prosecution would go. They criticize the prosecution for being a helping hand of the government as it did for the presidential office when it was alleged to be involved in the mayoral election of Ulsan. It is said that the prosecution has become a subject of everyday mockery when it is supposed to eradicate corruption.