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[Editorial] How Far Will Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin Be Pushed?

[Editorial] How Far Will Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin Be Pushed?

Posted October. 15, 2005 07:52,   


By accepting Minister of Justice Chun Jung-bae’s orders to investigate Professor Kang Jeong-gu without detaining him, Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin left a bad precedent where the “political minister” decided physical detainment in a certain case. Prosecutor General Kim did not carry through the opinion of the investigating prosecutors, and as a result the prosecution was given a great blow, in that its political neutrality was damaged.

Working prosecutors expected the prosecutor general to refuse orders from the minister, perhaps by even immolating himself for the country, so he could act as a breakwater that stopped improper intervention of politics in the prosecution. It is skeptical whether a prosecutor general shoved by politicians can have command over his organization and stabilize the agitated prosecutors.

Prosecutor General Kim said, “If the orders of the minister are not followed, the prosecution will face the criticism that it is an uncontrollable power organization.” It is quite a lame excuse for a humiliated head of the prosecution. This government, which used the unprecedented command authority of the minister of justice for the first time ever and pushed the non-detainment through, is in fact, the true “uncontrollable power.”

It doesn’t make sense for the minister of justice to lead and order the investigation to be conducted without detainment, because of his considerations towards the human rights of the defendant. Although there was fuss regarding the prosecutor general ordering detainment and the minister of justice activating his command authority, the final decision on physical detainment is not done by the police nor the prosecution or the Ministry of Justice. This is the inherent right of the judicial branch. Hence, it is the judicial branch that should have the final decision after considering the possibility of destroying evidence and fleeing as well as the issue of human rights.

According to the warrant and opinion for physical detainment, Professor Kang provided the theoretical framework for the action guidance of the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front, a branch of North Korea’s Worker’s Party Unification Propaganda Department, and Hanchongryon. In neglecting his anachronistic ideas that benefit the enemy and pushing through investigation without detainment, the ruling party made the foolish move of condoning an act that denies the identity of Korea.

The only way that Prosecutor Kim, who chose to disgrace himself, can recover his honor and authority is to thoroughly dig up the substance of pro-North Korean activities that go over the limits of freedom, expression and academics. In addition, regarding the decision of physical detainment, he should accept the judgment of the judiciary branch. Lastly, never again should the minister of justice intervene in deciding the physical detainment of an individual under investigation.