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Prosecutors Divided over Arrest of Professor

Posted October. 14, 2005 07:36,   


Responding to Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae’s order for the prosecution not to investigate sociology professor Kang Jeong-gu (Dongguk University) without detention, Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin said yesterday that, “We will decide whether or not to accept the order after having discussions with other related prosecutors.”

This was reported by the announcement of Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, saying that, “The office decided to consider the opinions of responsible prosecutors as much as possible because we believe this is the best way for us to make a more informed conclusion regarding this issue.”

However, a source from the office said that this decision stemmed from current clear confrontation between executive prosecutors and other prosecutors on this issue—while executive prosecutors are prone to accepting the order, other prosecutors are not.

Individual prosecutors’ offices are, therefore, starting to collect the opinions of prosecutors.

Chung Sang-myung, the deputy prosecutor general of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, had a meeting with seven director generals of each department, including Gwon Jae-jin, the director general of public security department, and discussed how to deal with the order from Chun. Other senior prosecutors and subordinated prosecutors also held separate meetings on the matter.

Minister Chun, meanwhile, appeared on KBC and MBC radio programs and said, “I have had talks with senior prosecutors and key members of the ministry many times, but we couldn’t find common ground. As a last resort, I issued an order to the prosecution that is supported by Public Prosecutor’s Act.”

The minister also said, “I issued the order because I want the prosecution to play its role as a legal agency that should advocate principles of human rights,” adding, “I believe that the prosecutor general will understand my intention.

“I didn’t have any talks with the members of any other particular party beforehand, and I just reported my decision later to the secretary of Cheong Wa Dae, who is in charge of this matter, because it is my duty,” said Minister Chun.