The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office announced on Friday that its senior prosecutors will play a more active role in conducting investigations as part of its plans to improve its operations.
Under the plans, a council of senior prosecutors serving as department chiefs will be formed to guide sensitive cases in order to prevent recurrences of recent controversies surrounding the prosecution’s investigation procedures.
A scandal broke out in October when prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol claimed that his investigation into the National Intelligence Service’s alleged election tampering was hampered by his superiors. He was in turn accused of ignoring the chain of command and established protocol in conducting the case.
The council will review cases and discuss key issues, such as the indictment and detention of suspects. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office will also designate department heads or deputy chiefs as the main prosecutors in cases deemed to be politically sensitive or expected to have a large social impact.
In addition, senior prosecutors will also be required to lead ordinary cases at regular intervals to maintain their investigative abilities, the Seoul prosecutors’ office said.
The criminal departments’ investigation procedures will also be changed to involve the department heads from the outset of cases. At present, chiefs of departments dealing with criminal cases review investigations once they are over.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org