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Prosecutors Get Together to Win Political Independence

Posted February. 12, 2003 22:50,   


For the first time in history, prosecutors with the Seoul District Public Prosecutors` Office held a full meeting session yesterday to discuss various issues including the political independence of the prosecution.

This meeting came at a sensitive time. Not long before, the Attorney General`s Office decided not to launch a probe in the secret checkbook diplomacy of Kim Dae Jung administration. Since that decision, the public has been accusing the investigative body of caving in to the political pressure.

At 9:30 a.m. on February 15th, all prosecutors belonging to the district will get together at the auditorium on the 15th floor, announced the DA`s Office yesterday. Then, 100 prosecutors, excluding the senior prosecutors, will have their own session, in which they are supposed to talk about a wide range of issues concerning reformation of the prosecution.

On the agenda will be ways to achieve the political independence; methods to win back the trust and respect of the public; and measures to better operate the whole prosecution. At the end of the session, the "ordinary" prosecutors will draw conclusions, which will be reported to their higher-ups.

As a preliminary action for the upcoming meeting, 24 division chiefs got together at the café on the second floor of the DA`s Office building, and discussed various procedural matters for the upcoming joint session.

Prosecutor Cho Wook-hee, who chaired the chiefs` meeting and will preside the upcoming meeting, said, "Lots of talks going on about institutionalization of prosecutors` meeting. Thus, we are thinking about holding the meeting on a regular basis. Our superiors okayed the upcoming meeting."

Yang Jae-tack, a senior prosecutor, confirmed, "These days, many voices are heard, calling for reform of the prosecution. We think the voice of prosecutors themselves should be heard in preparing the reform plan. That is why we`ve decided to hold the meeting of non-senior prosecutors. But I requested that they refrain from criticizing particular individuals and making proposals for particular issues."

Sang-Rok Lee myzodan@donga.com