Moon orders prosecution to draw up own reform plan

Oct 01, 2019, 08:11 am

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Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung/ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Lee Seok-jong 

President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered Prosecutor-General Yoon Seok-youl to draw up a prosecution reform plan as soon as possible. The presidential directive comes days after Moon called for the reform of the method of exercising prosecution rights and investigative practices.

However, the president made sure to postpone implementation of the prosecution reform plan until after the end of the investigation involving Justice Minister Cho, dispelling concerns that prosecution reform would affect the ongoing investigation into Cho and his family. Attention is now focused on whether the prosecution will speed up preparing its own reform plan.

According to Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Ko Min-jung on Monday, Moon issued the order to the prosecutor-general after receiving a report from Justice Minister Cho Kuk on his drive to reform the prosecution earlier in the day.

“I order the prosecutor-general to listen to the voices calling for the prosecution’s reform and swiftly present measures for its transformation into an agency that is trusted by the people. For this, the prosecution must collect the opinions of young prosecutors and women prosecutors, as well as those working in the criminal investigation and trial departments,” the president said.

“There is strong criticism that there is a lack of improvement in the method of exercising prosecution rights, investigative practices and organizational culture,” Moon said. “Some measures, such as strengthening the prosecutions’ Criminal Trial and Civil Litigation Department and the Criminal Department, as well as revising regulations on the prosecution’s public relations, especially regarding conditions for disclosing information on a suspect’s wrongdoings, are all needed to reform the prosecution,” he added.

“The Ministry of Justice and the prosecution must work together to execute the reform plans. The ministry should play a central role in the institutional aspects of the reform, and the prosecution must head the reform of investigation customs and in-house culture,” the president said. 

“There are many voices of the people calling for prosecution reform,” he said. “People’s voices calling for prosecution reform should be humbly accepted by the prosecution as well as the Justice Ministry and the president.”

However, Moon said that there may be misunderstanding that the measures could be intended to shrink the probe if they are confirmed and executed right away. “I ask to supplement the plans by working with the civic society and prosecution, and to hold off implementing them until the probe of allegations involving the justice minister is over.”

Moon’s statement is seen as his strong determination to redouble his prosecution reform drive by issuing instructions directly in the judgment that prosecution reform can no longer be postponed.

#prosecution #Moon Jae-in #Yoon Seok-youl #reform #Cho Kuk 
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