&#91EDITORIALS&#93Prosecution’s methods

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93Prosecution’s methods

Cheongju district prosecutors requested a warrant to detain one of their own in relation to the secret videotaping of a former personal secretary to the president, Yang Gil-seung. Not only is a prosecutor linked to the videotaping, but he is also accused of taking bribes from a criminal suspect who he is believed to have let off the hook.
The events bring into focus a number of aspects about the law enforcement authority’s practices. As crimes become increasingly sophisticated, their methods of collecting evidence have become more diverse. But whatever tool is utilized, it must be within the boundary of the law. How can the authorities justify it as lawful evidence that is collected without warrant and through secret videotaping by people who are paid to do the job?
There is now a pretty good body of evidence from the prosecution’s investigation into the videotaping of Mr. Yang. But questions remain on whether Mr. Yang accepted bribes, and whether he tried to exercise his influence to prosecutors who were investigating a criminal case involving the owner of the nightclub.
The office of the senior secretary for civil affairs at the Blue House said on Aug. 5 that Mr. Yang was asked by the nightclub owner to exercise influence but did not. But we learned that Mr. Yang had already met with the nightclub owner at least once in April, showing that there are deficiencies in the Blue House investigation. The prosecution reportedly will call Mr. Yang in for questioning today. These questions should be thoroughly addressed. The prosecution had been recovering some public trust. But this case is likely to deal it a blow. Members of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party are talking about “the dictatorial prosecution” and suggesting it should be checked. But no one should try to shape the prosecution. Such a move could deal a heavy blow to the prosecution just when it was beginning to gain independence.
The prosecution must reform its personnel so that no prosecutor is tempted to mingle with people who have questionable motives. And its internal scrutiny must be heightened.
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