[EDITORIALS]Somebody just doesn't get it

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[EDITORIALS]Somebody just doesn't get it

The prosecution appointments made Monday were a disappointment. The most important rule of public appointments is rewarding good conduct and punishing bad. Even if the appointments are only to get by the remaining four months of the administration, such flagrant disregard for a basic rule undermines the integrity of the prosecution.

Appointed to the head of the Seoul District Prosecutors Office was the man disciplined for the incompetent investigation in the "Lee Yong-ho gate" stock-manipulation scandal. He was removed from a central post in the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office to a sinecure in the Legal Research and Training Institute in early February when a special investigation team overturned the findings in the Lee investigation. The special team revealed the involvement of President Kim Dae-jung's son, Kim Hong-up, and Shin Seung-nam, then prosecutor general. Six months after this disciplinary demotion, the prosecutor was recalled to work at the Ministry of Justice and three months after that, he is now appointed to this central post.

Clearly, the disciplinary action was a hoodwink appointment in the face of public pressure. Restoration of the chief prosecutor raises suspicions that the investigation may have been swayed by political pressure. It doesn't look good to fill a post left vacant due to the torture death of a murder suspect with someone responsible for an incompetent investigation into a politics-cozy stock manipulation case by a start-up businessman.

It is also incomprehensible that the public relations officer who caused a ruckus by using the same letter of apology for the outgoing minister of justice that the outgoing prosecutor general had used should become a division chief in the prosecutions office. It is a mistake to place someone unclear about right and wrong at a post that requires constant contact with people and case-by-case judgments of wrong and right. A mistake this administration has made was weakening the prosecution by ignoring tradition and the organizational codes. Weakening the prosecution at the end of the administration may lead to the collapse of public discipline.
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