[EDITORIALS]Prosecutors must be neutralIt is irrational and anachronistic that the Millennium Democratic Party claims to have “the prosecution under the National Assembly’s control.” Lee Sang-soo, the party secretary-general, said “the prosecutors must come under the control of the legislature,” and many other party lawmakers have made similar remarks repeatedly. Others even claimed that the justice minister must be sacked because she has lost control over the prosecution. When the prosecution has begun an effort to stand on its own, it is embarassing to see such an absurd attitude by the ruling party.
Mr. Lee and party members said that “It is unusual that the prosecutor general does not appear at the Assembly, while the heads of the National Policy Agency and Tax Office are present at assembly sessions.” They said that they will make it compulsory for the prosecutor general to appear at the assembly from September. Such a demand from the ruling party, while an arrest warrant for its chairman is being sought, is requiring the prosecution to be a political handmaid.
During the Kim Dae-jung administration, the Millennium Democrats rejected the opposition’s demand for the prosecutor general’s presence at the assembly on the ground that it could damage the “neutrality of the prosecution.” Now, the party wants the prosecutor general at the assembly in order to control the prosecution. Isn’t this self-contradictory? It is natural that the Grand Nationals oppose the move, saying, “the purpose of the MDP move is not pure and not persuasive.”
The prosecution cannot be a superhuman agency. And there are suspicions of information leakage by prosecutors and of personal connections between prosecutors and the Blue House staff. Still, the Blue House and the assembly should not try to control the prosecution. That must be left to the judiciary.
The prosecution’s independence and neutrality are an irreversible demand of the times. The ruling party must immediately stop attempting to control it. Instead, it must help the prosecution stand on its own. The prosecution must show that the suspicions raised by some in the ruling camp are groundless.