[EDITORIALS]No power to indict

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[EDITORIALS]No power to indict

The governing Uri Party and the Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption are considering a measure to assign prosecutors to the proposed new body that will investigate alleged corruption of high-ranking civil servants so that it can have an indictment right. On June 29, a meeting of anti-corruption agencies presided over by President Roh Moo-hyun agreed not to give the new body indictment power, but that decision was reversed after several days, which makes us confused.
We believe the idea that the new body should have an indictment power through the dispatched prosecutors is wrong. We believe the powers of prosecutors are valid only when they belong to and work in prosecutors offices, and those powers will not work independently for individual prosecutors. And this is why the prosecutors assigned to the National Intelligence Service and economy related ministries do not have an indictment right.
The nation’s prosecution and court laws, furthermore, specify that indictment can only take place by prosecutors belonging to jurisdictional prosecutors offices. Thus, if the administration is trying to arrange a scheme so that the prosecutors who will be assigned to the new body can represent the Seoul District Public Prosecutors Office, then that will be using the law’s loophole.
It is also wrong to argue that the powerful new body should be under the control of the anti-corruption commission, which is a presidential agency. The new body may become a weapon of the president aimed at the legislature, administration and judiciary. The agency’s political neutrality will not be attained only through Assembly hearings and inspections.
Also, we would oppose the establishment of the new body if it is initiated by some governing party lawmakers in an attempt to control the prosecution’s investigation of them.
As we have pointed out, the new agency should not become a body of supreme power that will hold sway over other investigation organs of the government. We do not understand why the current administration is trying to create a new investigative body when the prosecution composed of expert investigators exists.
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