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Prosecutor general candidates shortlisted

The Justice Ministry’s nomination committee on Thursday drew up a short list of four candidates to head the prosecution, which is currently embroiled in heavy political wrangling.

Committee members narrowed a list of 12 candidates recommended for the chief prosecutor post down to four after reviewing their qualifications.

The final candidates were Kim Jin-tae, former deputy prosecutor general; Kil Tae-ki, acting prosecutor general; So Byung-chul, head of the Institute of Justice; and Han Myong-kwan, former head of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’ criminal department.

The new prosecutor general will replace former chief prosecutor Chae Dong-wook, who resigned in September upon allegations of having a son out of wedlock. Chae had cried foul as the opposition accused the government of pressuring him to step down over the probe into the National Intelligence Service’s suspected presidential election interference.

The new chief prosecutor will face the daunting task of placating the intense internal strife over the NIS probe controversy that is widening into a debate over the election’s legitimacy.

The committee reportedly reviewed each candidate’s scholastic background, career experience, assets, reputation and other qualifications.

The nominees are to undergo an evaluation by the justice minister, who will then choose one to recommend to the president for final appointment.

Observers said that considering the aggravating internal confusion, the process will pick up pace and the appointment of the prosecutor general would come by as early as next week.

The seats of Board of Audit and Inspection chief and the health minister, which have been left vacant for weeks, are also likely to be filled next week, the observers said. 

By Lee Joo-hee

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Korea Herald daum