[EDITORIALS]Our outrageous prosecutorsIt is shocking to find out that in almost all scandals and big-scale irregularities, senior prosecutors are involved. Since the inauguration of this administration, the involvement of prosecutors in various wrongdoing has come to light. This will dispirit prosecutors and degrade people's confidence in the prosecution. A remedy is urgent.
Kim Hong-up, the second son of President Kim Dae-jung, is arrested on charges of accepting 750 million won ($610,000) in return for exercising influence with a senior prosecutor to let Lee Jae-kwan, vice chairman of the Saehan Group, be indicted without physical detention. He is also found to have accepted large amounts of money in return for influencing criminal investigations of the Suwon and Ulsan Prosecutors Offices.
There were other cases in which prosecutors were involved, such as the housing redevelopment project in Beombeok-dong in Bucheon and under-the-table sales of Parkview apartments in Bundang. When Kim Soo-dong, former director of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation, was arrested, it was revealed that a senior prosecutor had leaked investigation secrets to Mr. Kim. In the Lee Yong-ho case, prosecutors were penalized in droves, found to have covered up the investigation results. And, outrageously, prosecutors took money from the prosecutor general's brother, Shin Seung-hwan.
The prosecution is distrusted by the people because it fails to maintain political neutrality and independence. In almost all investigations of political incidents, controversies over incomplete, reduced or stifled investigations have arisen. But only in recent years are senior members of the prosecution themselves being investigated on charges of various wrongdoings.
The prosecution represents government's investigative authority. When it is spoiled with corruption, governmental authority is jeopardized. As the government organ for investigation, it should be ashamed of its recent misdeeds. Malfeasance involving prosecutors should be dealt with more thoroughly and strictly than any other irregularities. It should be emphasized that the past practice of lukewarm investigations of their colleagues will not do. The prosecution should verify the nature of the pressures senior prosecutors have received, together with investigation results and possible bribery.