Posted March. 21, 2005 22:38,
On March 21, Prosecutor-General Song Kwang-soo made clear his opposition to the plans to set up an Office of Public Official Corruption Investigation, saying that we cannot root out corruption among public officials by simply setting up more offices.
Mr. Song, scheduled to step down from his post April 2, said during a press conference on Monday that the plans to establish an Office of Public Official Corruption Investigation is an imitation of policies of some Southeast Asian countries where prosecutors do not exist or no prosecution is pursued despite there being prosecutors.
Song went on to say that the plan is confusing because the office will also play a role in holding authorities in check, which runs counter to the presidents campaign promises.
According to the bill, which is pending at the Judiciary Committee, the office will specialize in investigations of corruption among high-level officials, deputy ministers and up, lawmakers, autonomy group leaders, judges, and prosecutors. The bill could pass the National Assembly in an extraordinary session next month.
Song said, Corruption among public officials in Korea is a product of a complex mixture of political, social, and cultural backgrounds. I hope that the political sector intends to do good by setting up such an office, but I cannot help thinking that the idea of establishing it might be politically motivated and intended to constrict the power of the Prosecutors Office.