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Yoon mentions adjustment to mediation proposal on prosecution’s investigative right

Yoon mentions adjustment to mediation proposal on prosecution’s investigative right

Posted April. 25, 2022 07:58,   

Updated April. 25, 2022 07:58


It was reported on Sunday that President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol required a revision of the arbitration plan proposed by National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-seug to modify the prosecution’s right to investigate, finding it necessary to further discuss it during an examination of the bill. Resigning last March, Yoon, then prosecutor general, reiterated that the complete removal of the prosecution’s right to investigate will only help instigate corruption and irregularities across society. Given this, his remarks on the need to revisit the agreed mediation proposal may likely put the brakes on the National Assembly’s schedule to proceed with the bill this Thursday at the earliest.

One of the core figures on Yoon’s side was quoted as saying, “Yoon considers that the compromise plan needs modifying given public opinions and the criminal justice system. He takes it seriously that crimes involving election irregularities and illegal acts by government officials will not be investigated by the prosecution with the June elections just around the corner.” Park Hong-keun and Kwon Sung-dong, floor leaders of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea and the main opposition People Power Party, agreed on Friday that the prosecution will only be allowed to directly look into corruption and economic crimes out of the six fields currently investigated by prosecutors - corruption, financial crimes, wrongdoings of government officials, election crimes, defense industry crimes and disaster crimes - temporarily, and with the launch of an investigative office for serious crime in the forthcoming administration, its right to investigate will be scrapped completely. The source said, “Yoon was not in a position to have any say not being part of how both parties reached agreement,” adding that the president-elect feels the need to get the proposal reviewed at the next steps for examination.

Likewise, on Saturday, Justice Minister nominee Han Dong-hoon, one of the closest members to the present-elect, officially expressed concerns about the agreement reached by the ruling and opposition parties that things will only get worse if any bill is additionally introduced without any thorough review and sufficient social consensus, hinting at Yoon’s intentions. Ahn Cheol-soo, the chairman of the presidential transition committee, also pointed out on Sunday that political leaders create a conflict of interests when they try to make it impossible for the prosecution to investigate them.

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com · Kyung-Suk Kang coolup@donga.com