[EDITORIALS]Future in its own handsThere is one thing the prosecution should do before asking for independence and neutrality from politics. The prosecution should clean its own house. If the backbone of the legal system becomes corrupt, it will have a direct bearing on the discipline of the nation as a whole. It is meaningful that the Supreme Prosecutors Office decided to put prosecutors under intensive surveillance.
In recent days, we have heard rumors about irregularities involving prosecutors. A man arrested for arranging bribes involving prosecutors and judges was found to have the names and phone numbers of 20 prosecutors stored in his mobile phone. Police have applied for a detention warrant, but the prosecutors released the suspect after the investigation came under their jurisdiction. The prosecutors have been accused of trying to protect their fellow prosecutors. The internal audit team of the Supreme Prosecutors Office has started an inquiry. It would be best if an investigation team handled the case.
A senior prosecutor in Seoul is being investigated on an allegation of having a man pay more than 100 million won ($83,300) toward the prosecutor’s new apartment. Prosecutors and assistants at Yeongweol prosecutors office in Gangwon province are accused of not paying for seven guest rooms and restaurant bills at Kangwon Land Casino hotel before investigating the casino.
Unearthing corruption and irregularities of civil servants is the prosecutors’ job. The irregularities of the prosecutors must be dealt with more sternly. But they have either been lenient with their own faults or hushed them up. They saw such practices as natural, and there was a tendency to criticize those who investigated internal affairs strictly. The internal auditors have played a decorative role.
A poll by the Anti-Corruption Commission shows that the Justice Ministry and the prosecution are seen toping the list of corrupt government agencies. It is a disgrace for the prosecution and a shame on the nation. Bearing in mind that the house cleaning this time will directly affect the future of the prosecution, its leadership must show strong determination to resolve the problems.