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Ruling party’s recklessness vs. prosecution’s collectivism

Ruling party’s recklessness vs. prosecution’s collectivism

Posted April. 12, 2022 08:29,   

Updated April. 12, 2022 08:29


“Once the prosecution is deprived of its function of investigation, it will be pointless for me to perform any execution,” Prosecutor General Kim Oh-soo said about the ruling Democratic Party of Korea’s drive to legislate law to abolish the prosecution’s investigation right, saying he is willing to give up his post to stop the bill. Following the nationwide convention of high prosecutors on Friday, a gathering of district attorneys took place on Monday, issuing a collective statement against the ruling party’s bill.

Prosecutor General Kim Oh-soo and Lee Seong-yoon, the head of Seoul High Prosecutors’ Office, have been the “pro-government” officials, who have achieved a very successful career under the Moon Jae-in administration by closely cooperating. Even they are sounding opposition in unison against the bill designed to rob the prosecution of its right to investigation. Perhaps they are currying favor with the new administration under President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol or put their internal fights to a halt and have decided to pursue collectivism; it would be problematic in either way.

The prosecutors maintain that it is too early to discuss a complete abolition of investigative function when it has only been a year since the adjustment was made to it. While they claim it is untimely, the crux lies in their will to hold onto their investigative rights for major cases. The fundamental duty of the prosecution is indictment and sustainment of public prosecutions, which is a global norm. In fact, South Korea is perhaps the only advanced country where the prosecution performs direct investigations into such a vast range of matters. Still, the hawks are further raising their voice, distorting the cases of judicial systems in other industrial countries with a convoluted logic.

Of course, it must be pointed out that the ruling party’s overt strategy to press ahead with the bill is a fault in and of itself. Now that the Democratic Party is trying to shake the judicial system, the bedrock of a country, to protect Moon Jae-in and Lee Jae-myung from the prosecution, not only the People Power Party but the Justice Party, which has mostly been on the same side of the ruling party, are firing criticism against their long-standing political allies.

The prosecution played a pivotal role in impeachment, and it produced a new president against the president who was elected against the backdrop of the impeachment. Such a case would only be possible in South Korea where the prosecution is given too much investigative power for crucial cases. That led to the adjustment of the investigative rights for the prosecution a year ago, but it remains excessive. The power must be reduced. Considering that the criminal justice system is the fundamentals of a country, however, the reform must be conducted step by step yet ceaselessly in line with the progress in adjustments.