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“Investigation Continues to Stop Corporate Deception”

Posted January. 03, 2005 22:50,   


The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office in Seocho-dong, Seoul held its opening ceremony in the afternoon on January 3 at its main conference hall on the 15th floor. The attendants did not stand in a line but were scattered across the room, shaking hands and greeting one another. The scene was dramatically different from the past when chief prosecutors were lined up on a platform with director-generals, prosecutors and other employees lined up in hierarchy order awaiting the prosecutor-general.

A song, “To the Place of Hope,” was murmuringly played in the background as prosecutor-general Song Kwang-soo entered the room and headed into the crowd, shaking hands with people in his vicinity. On the platform, the prosecutor-general gave a short greeting and stepped down to casually talk to people. Afterwards, he left.

To some, the ceremony might look disorderly, but in general people responded, saying, “The prosecution is trying to break itself away from its old reputation of an authoritative organization.”

The new order of the opening ceremony originally came from prosecutor-general Song’s comment on January 1 that the ceremony is too formal and only when the workers establish equal relations by seeing others as their colleagues, does authoritarianism go away.

Mun Seong-woo, the head of the Planning and Coordination Department explained, “The prosecutor-general suggested that the occasion should allow the personnel to greet one another instead of being where a big plan is announced. So the event was named “New Year’s Day,” not “Opening Ceremony” or “A Day for a New Year’s Resolution.”

Around 10:30 a.m. on the same day before the gathering in Seocho-dong, the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors’ Office aired an internal notice that warned against “moving around in groups and greeting the New Year.” Lee Jong-baek, the chief, instructed, “Roaming in groups is a waste of time and an activity too bound to formality.”

Prosecutor-general Song held a press conference for the New Year in the morning, same day, and said, “Even with a sluggish economy, investigations into corporate irregularities will continue this year to eradicate corruption.

But I will always weigh the importance of the economy, the investigation and other factors to judge how necessary the investigation is.”

He also announced, “2005 will be the starting point of scientific investigation. The focus will be on the establishment of a bank of genetic information.”