Committee selects four candidates for next prosecutor general

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Committee selects four candidates for next prosecutor general

This combined file photo shows the four candidates for the next prosecutor general. From left, former Vice Justice Minister Kim Oh-soo; Gwangju High Prosecutors' Office chief Koo Bon-sun; Legal Research and Training Institute head Bae Sung-bum and acting Prosecutor General Cho Nam-kwan. [YONHAP]

This combined file photo shows the four candidates for the next prosecutor general. From left, former Vice Justice Minister Kim Oh-soo; Gwangju High Prosecutors' Office chief Koo Bon-sun; Legal Research and Training Institute head Bae Sung-bum and acting Prosecutor General Cho Nam-kwan. [YONHAP]

 
A special government committee on Thursday selected four senior prosecutors as candidates to head the state prosecution.
 
Former Justice Minister Kim Oh-soo; Gwangju High Prosecutors’ Office chief Koo Bon-sun; Legal Research and Training Institute head Bae Sung-bum and acting Prosecutor General Cho Nam-kwan were selected as candidates for the next prosecutor general. The nomination committee selected the four after reviewing a list of 14 people offered by the Ministry of Justice last week.  
 
Conspicuously missing among the four finalists was Lee Sung-yoon, head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. Speculation was high that Lee, known for his loyalty to the Moon Jae-in administration, would be selected as the next prosecutor general.
 
Lee is currently suspect in a criminal investigation by the prosecutors that he had abused his power in 2018 to arrange an illegal travel ban on a former vice minister of justice of the previous administration. The probe appears to have affected Lee’s chance at becoming prosecutor general.
 
The candidate selection committee said professional abilities, character, ethics, leadership and other qualities were considered when selecting the four candidates.
 
“There was no major disagreement,” said Park Sang-ki, former justice minister who headed the nomination committee. “The selection was unanimous.”
 
Justice Minister Park Beom-kye will recommend the candidates to President Moon, who will then select his nominee to undergo the National Assembly’s confirmation hearing.
 
Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl resigned from his position in March, a move considered a slap in the face to Moon. Protesting the administration’s campaign to weaken the state prosecution service, Yoon said he could no longer tolerate the tearing apart of justice and common sense in Korean society.
 
BY SER MYO-JA   [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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