[EDITORIALS]Leave them be - for nowThe Blue House again commented on the possibility of transferring the prosecution’s internal inspection authority to the Justice Ministry and is about to reignite tension with the prosecution. The Blue House senior secretary for civil affairs, Moon Jae-in, said Monday that inspections ought to be conducted from outside the organization as a check on the prosecution. The justice minister, Kang Gum-sil, said that transferring the inspection authority is a necessary part of reform, and a decision would come before the end of the year.
The logic is that the prosecution is a powerful agency and some outside check on it is necessary; letting the prosecution police itself is an invitation for them to protect each other, the ministry told President Roh Moo-hyun earlier this year. It is reasonable that the prosecution should be subject to checks and oversight just like any other organization.
But there is a time and sequence for everything. President Roh has said that his administration would not attempt to control the prosecution, and the prosecution itself is displaying a departure from the past by acting more independently in its investigation of politicians involved in the Yoon Chang-yeol bribery case and the Hyundai Group slush funds provided to politicians. It is inappropriate to talk about more controls on the prosecution just when it is trying to change. That could hinder the prosecution’s independence even before it is able to stand alone.
Look at the issue later, to see how the reforms go. What the public expects of the prosecution now is to shed all traces of being influenced by political power.
If an outside force watches over its every move, the prosecution is bound to lose impartiality and independence. Because the Justice Ministry works for the Blue House, giving the ministry the oversight could lead to indirect pressure from the top in the form of intervention in appointments and promotions.
The Supreme Public Prosecutors Office has announced a plan to step up internal inspections. It will not be too late to take up the issue again if we find that the prosecution's efforts do not amount to very much.