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Growing Resistance in “Code Promotion Disabling Public Prosecution”

Growing Resistance in “Code Promotion Disabling Public Prosecution”

Posted April. 07, 2005 23:33,   


The prosecution has expressed dissatisfaction after the April 4 personnel shuffling of high-ranking public officials at the level of head prosecutor and above.

Along with dissatisfaction expressed on the choice of certain personnel, those that have failed in promotions will also to resign in protest, foreshadowing an additional round of personnel shuffling to fill the posts of head prosecutor.

Though the current round of reshuffling was uneventful, as its main purpose was to stabilize the organization, dissent has been expressed on the promotion of certain officials.

Some within the prosecution named certain personnel, contending that the decisions were “based on a political agenda directed at reducing the power of the prosecution.” The diatribe pointed out that the political community is aiming to govern the public prosecution sector through personnel appointments. Certain public prosecutors noted for their recalcitrance were said to have been sidelined from the promotions.

A prime example is Park Man, head of the Sungnam District Prosecutor’s Office. With a resume that includes stints as the head of planning in the public security department of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office and the second deputy director of the Seoul District Prosecutor’s Office under his belt, as well as passing the 21st national judicial examinations, Park was short-listed for the position of head prosecutor. Passed up in the previous round of personnel shuffling, he was noted to have been included in the list sent to Cheong Wa Dae last week.

However, his name was excluded from the list of new personnel. Park has reportedly submitted his resignation after the announcements at 2 p.m. on April 4. Rumors began to circulate that the results were due to his investigations of Song Doo-yul, a sociologist currently residing in Germany, as well as bad relations dating from ten years ago with certain government officials in the current administration. Sectors in the public prosecution have expressed dissent, asking, “Who would conduct investigations if our actions will place us at a disadvantage in personnel appointments?”

Following Park, several senior officials that failed to advance to a higher position have also been reported as planning to submit their resignation.

Citizens’ rights groups are also questioning the decision. The PSPD requested on April 7 that the two head prosecutors that presided as the acting public prosecutors for the “Kang Ki-hoon Will-by-Proxy Case” in 1991 be rejected for promotion. Also, the Ministry of Justice is looking into the case of one head prosecutor of a district office on charges of accepting a request to ignore a certain internal disturbance in the past.

Several prosecutors are also protesting against the announcement of the Ministry of Justice that its decision reflected the judgment ratio of not-guilty.

The Ministry of Justice has stated, “When we applied the same standards in promotion in the past, there were also voices of approval.” But several prosecutors stated, “That will only make us avoid difficult investigations that deal with heated discussions concerning special and security matters.”

With the increased focus on human rights, some speculate that the move will alter the aggressive practice of exacting confessions during investigations. Prosecutors have pointed out that the main problem lies in the disabling of the power of the public prosecution sector.