South Korea’s top prosecutor resigns to protest reform plan
Seoul, Apr 17 (EFE).- South Korean Prosecutor General Kim Oh-soo resigned Sunday to protest against the ruling Democratic Party’s (DP) contentious plan to reform the public prosecutor’s office.
Kim said in a statement that he hoped his resignation would provide an opportunity for parliamentarians to review the legislative process once again in the National Assembly (parliament).
He also insisted on the need for the reform to have public consensus and an agreement between the two main parties.
The DP has long pushed for a plan to give the police more investigative rights, accusing the prosecution of having excessive powers, which it claimed has been used for political ends.
The party, which has a parliamentary majority, decided on Apr.12 to send the bill – without reaching a consensus with the conservative opposition – to the parliament for approval before the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol assumed power on May 10, following his victory in the presidential elections in March.
In fact, Yoon, who was prosecutor general until last year, also resigned in protest against DP’s reform plan and was succeeded by Kim.
Last year, the DP stripped the public prosecutor’s office of powers to investigate electoral fraud, corruption, or misdemeanors, and transferred them to the police and a newly created body to investigate the conduct of high-ranking public officials, including the president.
With this new bill, it now seeks to eliminate all remaining investigative powers so that the prosecutor’s office is limited only to prosecuting. EFE