Moon urges strengthened audit of prosecution

Oct 17, 2019, 08:27 am

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President Moon Jae-in (L) holds a meeting with Vice Justice Minister Kim Oh-soo (2nd from R) and Lee Seong-yun, head of the justice ministry’s crime affairs bureau, at the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 16, 2019./ Source: Cheong Wa Dae


By AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi 

President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday ordered Vice Justice Minister Kim Oh-soo and Lee Seong-yun, head of the justice ministry’s crime affairs bureau, to draw up powerful disciplinary measures against prosecutors and report him directly.

In a 50-minute meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, Moon said, “Draw up plans for increasing efficacy of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s inspection function and the Justice Ministry’s secondary inspection function, so that it can play a powerful self-purifying function within the prosecutors’ office, and once the plans are ready, brief me directly.”

Moon’s inspection-related orders are seemingly intended to express his strong willingness to complete prosecution reform despite resignation of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk while attempting to strengthen control over the prosecutors’ office.

Besides, the move comes after state prosecutors were criticized for their irregularities due to improper internal probe. The strengthened inspection function of the prosecution and the justice ministry was a part of Cho’s prosecutorial reform plans.

Prior to the inspection-related orders, Moon pointed out, “The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has an inspection function, and the Justice Ministry also has secondary inspection function, but their audit functions do not appear to have operated effectively.”

Moon said that while some parts of Cho’s prosecutorial reform plans have been executed, other parts still require work until they are put to the Cabinet meeting. “(Parts that require more work) should be completed up to the point of being approved at the Cabinet meeting within October.”

In addition, Moon also asked Kim to report to him any additional reform measures apart from already announced ones after gathering opinions.

“Please report to me directly any additional reform measures that may be suggested by the prosecutors’ office or the prosecution reform committee,” Moon said.

The president added that the vice minister should listen to views from the prosecutors’ office in the process, and asked for him to play a central role in executing the reform.

“As you know, selecting the next minister takes a long time. But prosecutorial reform has become a very urgent task,” Moon said. “Until a new minister takes office, I ask you to do your best to minimize loopholes in handling pending issues.”

#Moon Jae-in #Kim Oh-soo #Lee Seong-yun #Cho Kuk #prosecution reform 
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