[EDITORIALS]New tactics on prosecutors

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[EDITORIALS]New tactics on prosecutors

To our surprise, several high-ranking officials in the prosecutors' office have been involved in corruption. Shin Seung-nam, the former prosecutor general, is under investigation for his role in the case involving Kim Hong-up, President Kim Dae-jung's son, who has been accused of influence peddling. Now, public interest has turned to Kim Jin-kwan, the former chief of the Jeju Prosecutors Office, over his alleged involvement in bribery involving a real estate project.

Mr. Shin faces charges of having leaked information about the investigation into alleged financial fraud by the former vice-president of Saehan Group, Lee Jae-kwan. Mr. Shin, who was the deputy chief of the prosecutors office in Daejeon at the time, is said to have passed the information to Kim Sung-hwan, a close friend of Kim Hong-up. Mr. Lee, who had been hiding in Japan, returned to Korea after hearing from Mr. Kim that the investigation was waning. However, on his return, he was indicted without detention and in the process of his indictment Mr. Lee confessed that he had given Kim Hong-up a total of 750 million won ($600,000) in bribes. Mr. Shin also faces allegations that he interfered in the Ulsan prosecutors' investigation of the mayor of Ulsan, who allegedly paid bribes as a favor to President Kim's son.

Kim Jin-kwan, the former Jeju chief prosecutor, resigned when it was discovered that he had facilitated large money transactions for the construction firm that was in charge of the real estate development project. Kim Dae-woong, the chief prosecutor in Gwangju, has already been investigated for 70 days but the prosecutors are delaying a finding.

The corruption of prosecutorial officials and the wrongdoing of other officials are very different. The former should be subject to a stricter standard. It is harder to convict prosecutors because they know how to get around the law. When investigating prosecutors officials should uncover the whole truth and then decide who should be put on trial.

The prosecutors should remember that the best way to meet a difficult situation is to be frank and direct.
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