Justice minister’s injusticeThe captain is out to eliminate the enforcer of the organization. The boss turns a blind eye to the plot, only to show a subtle expression of approval. The patched members applaud and cheer the captain in the bold move. The sins of the enforcer are recited publicly. For instance, he has colluded with rivaling organizations and attempted a revolt against the boss. None of his assumed offenses are clear or verifiable. The enforcer fell out of favor as he had dug into wrongdoings of the inner circle. He had offended the leadership. So he must pay. The plot from an Italian-American crime movie is panning out in the Korean government stage.
Any sensible citizen knows that the primary offense Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl has committed to be stripped of his bestowed power from Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae was his “disloyalty” to the government. One of six wrongdoings Yoon was accused of was his alleged surveillance of judges presiding over the cases of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk and the Blue House’s meddling in the 2018 Ulsan mayoral election.
Surveillance is an illicit use of public power to discover weaknesses of a target to intimidate or cause disadvantage. But it is customary for prosecutors to study the presiding judge when they prepare for a trial. The prosecutor on the case said he merely compiled disclosed information and files on the judge.
Justice Minister Choo claimed that the prosecution used some of the controversial files compiled by the National Court Administration in the past to attack Cho. Yoon denied and retorted the justice minister who mistook it for another case. Choo’s claims seem to have been hurriedly arranged to frame Yoon.
Another of Yoon’s alleged wrongdoings was his refusal to comply with inspection by the Justice Ministry. The ministry sent documents to Yoon for inspection. But the documents did not have the signing of endorsement from the Justice Ministry’s inspection officer. An inspection without endorsement from the inspecting officer cannot be legitimate. The ministry and Choo have broken internal regulations to tarnish Yoon.
The state power cannot be used randomly in a free democracy. Laws contain excesses. It is how democracy is differentiated with dictatorship. But Choo and the ruling party are shaking the country’s judiciary order. Their actions are as if we are back to the military regime. Destruction of laws cannot be tolerated. They would face stern judgment from the people if they proceed with their antidemocratic ways.