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[Editorial] Crucial Test For Prosecution`s Political Independence

[Editorial] Crucial Test For Prosecution`s Political Independence

Posted July. 14, 2003 21:58,   


Inappropriate behavior of Ruling Millenium Democratic Party Chairman Chyung Dai-chul who is now facing pending indictment of the prosecution for questioning his receipt of a large sum of money in bribes from bankrupt Good Morning City Co represents a typical attitude of Korean politicians who have double standards for the prosecution`s political independence. The scandal depicts the fact that politicians` anachronistic perception that the prosecution can be used to promote the interests of politicians is a major stumbling block to achieving the prosecution`s independence from politics.

If found true that Chairman Chyung expressed his displeasure by saying, “The failure in controlling the prosecution made the current situation worse,” during his meeting with Chung Wa Dae officials, the MDP chairman cannot avoid criticisms for having made insulting remarks against the government and the prosecution. It is because that the chairman seems not to take seriously both president Roh`s repeated promise; he would not use the prosecution for political gains and prosecutor general Song Kwang-soo`s declaration; prosecutors will not receive a “gift of money” in the process of their investigations.

Against this backdrop, MDP chairman Chung seems to be rejecting the prosecution`s summons, expecting that Chung Wa Dae will exercise its influence on the prosecution to protect him from being prosecuted. It is worried that if majority of the politicians share the same view with the MDP chairman, reforms of the prosecution that the current government is now adamantly pushing for may be finally used as a means to control the law-enforcement agency. Yesterday, the ruling MDP decided to obligate the prosecutor general to attend the National Assembly, taking issue with the prosecution`s procedural mistake and its treatment of the MDP chairman. The MDP`s decision seems to be a “show of force” against the prosecution.

Some officials at the presidential office at Chung Wa Dae criticized chairman Chyung by saying, “It is thinkable for Chung Wa Dae to control the prosecution.” However, in the first place, it is inappropriate for Chung Wa Dae officials to exchange such conversations with a “suspected person” facing prosecution`s summons. As the MDP chairman claimed that he did anything wrong, he should cooperate the prosecution`s investigation to prove his innocence.

Although the prosecution seems to face the most difficult situation to deal with a case involving the ruling camp`s political heavyweight since the inauguration of the current government, it can be an opportunity for the prosecution to achieve its autonomy and independence for politics. To that end, the prosecution has to apply principles of enforcing laws to everyone without any political consideration.