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[Editorial] Lone Star Arrest Criteria

Posted November. 06, 2006 03:00,   


Prosecutors and the court are split over whether to detain suspects involved in the Lone Star case. Blunt remarks between them make us doubt they are conscious of the nation.

This conflict resulted from the unresolved emotional friction inflated by Chief Justice Lee Yong-hun’s prosecutor-depreciating statement, “Throw out the prosecution’s investigation records,” which was related to a “public trial centered principle.”

It is not too much to say that our judicial history is a history of discord between the courts and the prosecution. No matter what superficial reasons may predominate, the rooted one should be selfishness for their own profession. That judges and prosecutors underwent training in practical business together in the Judicial Research and Training Institute is “psychiatric common ground,” many legal experts believe. This view means that although they took different careers after trainings, they still retain competitive sentiment against each another, thinking, “I won’t be outdone by you.”

Legal experts also maintain that excessive self-respect makes them belittle each other.

This emotional conflict has been fueled by signs of acquittals of high-ranking judges in legal scandals, the bail of eight suspects related to Hyundai and Kia Motors cases, and the dismissal of arrest warrants for three suspects related to the Lone Star probe.

In terms of those involved in the Lone Star probe, a court of justice declared, “There could be no possibilities about destruction of evidence and escape,” but the prosecution refuted that it was a disturbance in the investigation, saying it was against the practice of issuing arrest warrants. Still, it was an emotional reaction that prosecution filed a request for an arrest warrant once again without any changes at all.

The court also seems to have referred to the “Lee Yong-hun code,” requesting strict evidence without enough explanation about the revised arrest criteria. Unlike former chief justices, Lee tends to disclose his own convictions about trials. It can be pointed out that judges’ judicial rights within the limits of the constitution, law, and conscience have been daunted.

If they have to fight, it is significant to the nation that a consensus about detention criteria should be productively identified through discussion and conversation. Wasteful friction between court and prosecution is disgusting. In case that the friction this time also turns out to be but an emotional fight, the nation will have much more distrust on judicature, a situation where the judicature will lose its authority once more.