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Im Chae-jin Speculated as Next Prosecutor General

Posted October. 11, 2007 03:47,   


Im Chae-jin, 55, chief of the Legal Research and Training Institute, is viewed as the most likely successor of Prosecutor-general Choung Sang-myoung, whose term ends on November 23, sources announced on Wednesday.

Reportedly, it has also been decided that Jeon Yun-cheol, chief of the Board of Audit and Inspection, will be re-appointed.

Cheong Wa Dae will hold a personnel nomination meeting, presided over by Presidential Chief of Staff Moon Jae-in, on Thursday to discuss the appointment of the successors to the chief of the Legal Research and Training Institute and the Public Prosecutor General. An announcement is expected to be made after the approval of President Roh Moo-hyun.

Mr. Im, the prime candidate for the next prosecutor-general, was born in Namhae, South Gyeongsang Province and graduated from Pusan High School and Seoul National University’s College of Law. He served as a senior official at the Department of Justice and a director at the Public Prosecutors’ Office. He led the North Korea-sponsored spy ring Ilshimhoe case last year as the head of the Seoul District Prosecutors` Office.

Meanwhile, experts believe that Mr. Jeon will be named again due to difficulties in finding a replacement and to avoid controversy and conflict with the Grand National Party in the process of obtaining the approval of the National Assembly.

“The auditors, who will be the acting chiefs of the Board of Audit and Inspection as Jeon’s successor, also plan to retire in November and December, one after another, after completing their four-year terms. This will create a situation where the BAI will have less than five auditors, which falls short of the minimum number required. Therefore, the BAI will be unable to have an acting-chief. The chief of the BAI can be re-appointed one time,” said Presidential Spokesman Cheon Ho-seon.

However, a dispute is expected to erupt if President Roh, whose term ends in just a few months, pushes the appointments of the two chief officials, since it will put pressure on the next government.