[EDITORIALS]Breakdown of disciplineThe prosecution, as expected, is at a low point after the beating death of a suspect. The arrests of the main prosecutor and his team that oversaw the investigation into an organized crime ring and the reprimand handed to senior prosecutors has pushed the office to the wall.
One telling sign is the release of three suspects related to the alleged murder of one of its members by other members of the Paju Sports Group. Even though there is no material evidence backing their claim that they too were beaten during interrogation, prosecutors have let them go, saying they will be questioned but not detained. It is rare that suspects about to be indicted are released.
Torture or any use of violence and abuse during questioning should not be condoned. But torture and investigations of organized crime are separate issues. It would be a disaster of the worst kind if the controversy over torture puts prosecutors on the defensive and emboldens organized crime members. Prosecutors should not lose heart and abandon cases where there is evidence. There are scientific methods at the prosecution's disposal to conclude cases without rough handling.
Another telling sign of a broken-down prosecution is that requests for arrest warrants by the Seoul District Prosecutors Office this month are only about half the warrants they requested last month. Requests for arrest warrants for special investigations, narcotics crimes and organized crime, which usually require direct interrogation, have been minimal. Prosecutors are neglecting their duties.
The death during an investigation is the fault of the prosecutors themselves, who adopted the rough tactics sometimes used by the police. It is a tragedy, but it is their own fault.
We propose that the 180 police officers assigned to the prosecution should leave the office and the prosecution work out plans to ensure that no more violence is used on criminal suspects.
The problems in the prosecution are a breakdown in order and the rule of law. The citizens will suffer the most if it continues.