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Prosecutor General resigns over stripping of prosecution's investigative power Updated: 2021-03-04 16:13:03 KST

South Korea's Prosecutor General, Yoon Seok-youl, resigned on Thursday, objecting to plans to strip the prosecution of its remaining power to investigate crimes, and give that power to a new investigative body.
It was a widely expected move, Yoon having said he would put his job on the line to protect what power prosecutors have left.

"The pillars of this country, the values of the Constitution and the rule of law are being destroyed. I can no longer bear to watch the loss of the common sense and justice that our society built over a long period of time."

The Blue House, which had picked Yoon for the role, soon responded but without comment.

"President Moon has accepted Prosecutor General, Yoon Seok-you's resignation. That is all."

The current administration and the ruling Democratic Party have been pushing hard to reform the prosecution.
Operations have begun already at the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials, which Yoon did not object to, and the prosecution has had to yield more invetigative powers to the police.
There are only six types of crimes they can still investigate economic crimes, corruption, crimes by civil servants, election law violations, defense contract fraud and responsibility for disasters.
If the new investigative body is formed, it would take over the remaining six, leaving the prosecution only the power to indict.
The ruling Democratic Party has said the legislation to form this new body would come in June.

Historically, the prosecution has been looked at by the public with skepticism and has been accused of abusing its power.
On the other hand, without the power to investigate, Yoon says, the agency will not be able to do its best to stop corruption, which will resurge.
Yoon has cut his term four months short, but he spent his time in office fighting energetically against the administration's prosecutorial reforms.
Ironically, he was in charge of investigating former President Park Geun-hye for corruption, paving the way President Moon's election.

"While Yoon has generally refrained from discussing his future plans, especially in politics, he has been mentioned as a strong contender for the main opposition’s presidential candidate in the next year’s election.
Kim Doyeon Arirang News"
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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