[Editorial] Inciting methodical attacks on prosecutors

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

[Editorial] Inciting methodical attacks on prosecutors

The Democratic Party (DP) has provoked controversy by exposing the names and photos of the prosecutors involved in an investigation of its chief Lee Jae-myung in an online newsletter. The newsletter revealed the identities of 16 out of 60 prosecutors across eight district offices. A list of 10 was specifically labeled as the lineage of President Yoon Suk-yeol who was a career prosecutor and prosecutor general before being elected president in March. One of the identities had to be corrected as the photo was of someone unrelated to the case.

The move has been suspected of undermining a legitimate activity of prosecution. As identities of senior or top prosecutors involved in a certain case are made public by news media, they are not confidential. But DP spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom claimed, “Dark history should be recorded. The people have the right to know who is behind the campaign to destroy the opposition party and remove the opponents.” After the newsletter has been uploaded at the DP’s YouTube channel, it drew heated comments even calling the prosecution a “devilish and political” institution.

The move can be unconstitutional. “It is a serious impairment to the law and order by maliciously stigmatizing government employees faithfully carrying out their duty to circumvent criminal allegations against the DP chief,” said Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon. The action also drew criticism from DP. Rep. Lee Sang-min who said that the prosecution must be independent not only from pressure of the sitting power but also from the pressure of public opinions. The DP plans to expose the identities of about 150 prosecutors who are investigating the previous Moon Jae-in administration on various suspicions.

This is not the first time the DP flashed identities of figures unfavorable to its interests. Rep. Kim Yong-min uploaded pictures of judges involved in the first trial of the wife of former justice minister Cho Kuk. Former justice minister Choo Mi-ae even exposed a text message containing the identity and contact number of a journalist, who had written a story critical of her, on Facebook. Die-hard DP supporters bombarded first-term DP lawmakers who apologized for the Cho Kuk scandal with hate messages.

Politics capitalizing on strong fandom can only deepen the divide.

Lee and the DP must stop such a reckless campaign and comply with the legal procedures after he was summoned by the prosecution for questioning. The prosecution also must not leak the conviction details on Lee to sway public opinion in its favor. A prosecutorial probe on the opposition after the change of the governing power always had caused suspicion of political bias. The prosecution must abide by the investigation rules to fend off such suspicions.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)