Restore state prosecution

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Restore state prosecution

Park Young-soo, the appointed independent counsel authorized to investigate the unprecedentedly broad influence-peddling and power abuses revolving around President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, brought in the renowned senior prosecutor Yoon Seok-youl to his 104 person-strong team.

Yoon lost favor with the Blue House after he claimed he was not loyal to an individual while heading a special investigation into the National Intelligence Service’s meddling in the 2012 presidential election in favor of candidate Park. Many in the state prosecution have raised their hands to join the team. Park said he would recruit prosecutors with “will and persistence.”

The state prosecution said it would completely cooperate with the special investigation and hand over all its findings to the incoming team.

The first work should start with combing out prosecutors that had been loyal to the mighty senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Woo Byung-woo.

The special investigation team of the state prosecution could not question Woo even after it named him a suspect in the crime of negligence in duty. Conflict of interests got in the way as the team would have had to question senior prosecutors as they would have been in close connection with Woo in charge of judiciary matters. But internal probe is necessary now that the investigation is spearheaded by a team of independent counsels.

Yoon Gap-geun, who headed the case of Woo in the special team, should be first to face an internal probe. The prosecution has also neglected its duty by failing to secure the evidence proving how Woo was involved in power abuse.

Prosecutor-general Kim Soo-nam must order the internal investigators to question state prosecutors suspected of colluding with Woo. Kim should be willing to comply with the probe first.

If prosecutors cannot catch political prosecutors, the prosecution institution would face reform led by outside forces. The state prosecution must be restored to revive law and order in this society.

JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 2, Page 30
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