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Citizens to Patrol Officials` Corruption

Posted March. 31, 2003 22:20,   


The Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption (KICAC) told President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday that it would toughen up various regulatory measures for government officials convicted of corruption and bribery. It also intends to make it much tougher for the convicted officials to receive parson or commutation. It is reportedly thinking of ways to confiscate any monetary or other forms of illegal benefits the corrupt officials have gained.

The KICAC also announced that it would usher in more measures to more thoroughly examine the whole history of a senior government official concerning accumulation of wealth. Moreover, it plans to let the Blue House, the prosecution, the police and the KICAC to cross-check any corruption or bribery case associated with senior officials and their relatives.

In order to induce more voluntary actions on the part of the citizens, according to KICAC`s report to the president, it would revise the relevant laws to better protect the whistle blower with more immunity and compensate the blower better.

It is aiming at raising the ranking of South Korea on the corruption perceptions index issued by the Transparency International up to 20th by the year of 2007. Now, South Korea is ranked at 40th, far lower than Japan, or 20th.

President Roh defined the term "corruption" as any act that might abridge fair procedures. He continued, "In the past, when we talked about corruption, we meant bribes given in return for special favors. But that is no longer appropriate. I will even protect a whistle blower who reports someone else`s corruptive behavior out of his or her personal interest." He also promised, "Every person in power or with special authority should put themselves on the highest alert against laxity, dissipation and immoral behavior. I promise I will not use the powerful agencies like the prosecution, the police and the National Intelligence Service for my personal interest."

Jeong-Hun Kim Dong-Ki Sung jnghn@donga.com esprit@donga.com