Prosecutor General faces dilemma over quitting

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Prosecutor General faces dilemma over quitting

The ongoing battle among prosecutors, the National Assembly and police may take its highest ranking victim yet: Prosecutor General Kim Joon-gyu, who may resign in protest just weeks before the end of his term.

President Lee Myung-bak met with Kim Thursday at the International Association of Prosecutors Annual Conference held in Coex, Seoul. Kim expressed his intention to tender his resignation, according to Blue House sources, saying, “It is not easy to manage an organization. Someone should take responsibility.”

Lee replied, “It is not appropriate for the prosecutor general to resign in the middle of his term.”

And then, Lee added, “Do your job as prosecutor general, not losing control, as the prosecution is now a little bit in trouble,” Blue House sources said.

Later that night, Kim released a statement which read: “If an agreement is broken or a promise isn’t kept, someone should take responsibility for it.

“I am aware of the unrest among prosecutors about this situation,” it continued. “As I’m attending the International Association of Prosecutors Annual Conference as a representative of Korean prosecutors, I will announce my specific position next Monday.”

Officials in the prosecution predicted Kim would announce his resignation Monday.

According to Kim’s aides, he told high-ranking officials in the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office that he has already “arranged somewhere to work after my resignation.”

Prosecutors are upset because they negotiated a revision of the criminal procedure law for months and agreed to a compromise in which police would be given some powers to open criminal investigations, which they didn’t formerly have, under some kind of supervision by the prosecution.

But at the last moment, a National Assembly committee made a change in the bill saying the details would be determined by a decree issued by the president and approved by his cabinet.

The earlier compromise had said the details would be determined by an ordinance written by the prosecutors’ boss, the justice minister.

The revised bill was voted into law Thursday, and five high-ranking prosecutors of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office tendered their resignations.


By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

李대통령, 김준규 검찰총장 사의 반려

이명박 대통령은 검ㆍ경 수사권 조정에 대한 검찰 수뇌부의 반발과 관련해 김준규 검찰총장이 거듭 표명한 사의를 직접 반려한 것으로 1일 전해졌다.

이 대통령은 전날 강남구 삼성동 코엑스에서 열린 세계검찰총장회의에서 만난 김 총장이 "조직 관리가 쉽지 않다. 누군가 책임져야 한다"고 사의를 전달한 데 대해 "검찰이 조금 혼란스러우니 총장이 중심을 잡고 일을 하라"며 이를 즉각 반려했다고 배석자들이 전했다.

이 대통령은 또 "검찰총장이 임기 중에 나가는 것은 적절치 않다"며 공직자로서 책임감을 갖고 얼마 안남은 총장 임기를 책임질 것을 주문했다.

이와 관련, 청와대 관계자는 "대통령의 뜻은 김 총장이 진정으로 '책임'을 거론한다면 지금 사퇴해서는 안된다는 것"이라며 "책임감이란 측면에서 임기를 한달여 남기고 사퇴하는 게 적절한지는 김 총장 자신도 잘 알 것"이라고 설명했다.

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