South Korean attorney general resigns following govt reforms

Seoul, Mar 4 (efe-epa).- South Korea’s attorney-general resigned Thursday from his position following the creation of an agency to investigate corruption in the civil service that diminishes the powers of the judiciary, which he directed until now.

Yoon Seok-youl denounced in a brief press conference in Seoul that “the spirit of the constitution and the rule of law are crumbling” in the country.

According to the former attorney-general, the reform “will cause damage to the people,” according to statements collected by the Yonhap agency.

Yoon’s resignation comes just four months before his term was due to expire, after being elected in July 2019 by President Moon Jae-in, who immediately accepted his resignation.

Yoon had long been protesting the creation of a new agency, the Senior Officials Corruption Investigation Office, under the Justice Ministry and further reducing the powers of the attorney general’s office.

As promised in its election program, Moon’s ruling Democratic Party already amended several laws last year to give more powers to the police in investigative work and to dilute the power of the powerful body Yoon led.

The former attorney-general had several clashes with the government during his tenure and at the end of 2020 was suspended by the then Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae on account of the aforementioned reforms, before a court considered the measure improper.

Choo, in turn splattered by a scandal involving the treatment of her son in the army and accused of not making public investigations into herself and other Moon allies, was replaced as head of the Justice portfolio by Park Beom-kye at the end of January. EFE-EPA


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