Posted December. 20, 2004 22:56,
The Defense Ministry displaced three military prosecutors from their posts after they hinted at resignation because Minister Yoon Kwang-ung refused to approve the warrant they requested for the high-profile Army promotion scandal yesterday.
Yesterday, the Defense Ministry opened an inquiry commission regarding the removal of the three military prosecutors, including Major Choi (deputy chief at the military high prosecutors office) from their posts, and made the conclusion that they can no longer assume their duties, and began disciplinary procedures.
An authority of the Defense Ministry stated, It has become difficult to expect an impartial investigation from the existing team which ignored fundamental investigation principles and disclosed investigation contents to the outside, for example, despite orders against it from the military leaders. We are planning to organize a new investigation team within a few days and bring suspicions to light.
In addition, the Defense Ministry prescribed that Major Choi and other prosecutors distorted Minister Yoons order for a more complementary investigation as interference, which is a grave breach of military discipline, and reconfirmed its plan to organize a disciplinary committee and take stern actions soon.
Heavy disciplinary punishment is inevitable in order to establish military discipline since their collective action stemmed from an unsound intention to shift the responsibility of the stagnant investigation to the minister, said another authority.
It was known that the Defense Ministry reviewed punishing them on the charge of mutiny since they collectively acted, even contradicting President Rohs statement to refrain from driving public sentiment while investigating, but it decided to reserve the charge for now from fear of causing a further stir.
Meanwhile, it was known that Major Choi and other military prosecutors unofficially reported the investigation to Uri Partys Rep. Choi Jae-chun, who is an executive secretary of the Assemblys Legislation and Judiciary Committee, arousing controversy over the objectivity and impartiality of the investigation.