A Ministry of Justice panel said Monday it will review how the ministry and the prosecution have dealt with sexual misconduct by their staff.
The committee for measures against sexual harassment and sexual crimes was launched after a prosecutor revealed on television in January that she had been molested by a former senior ministry official.
The panel will look into 130 cases of sexual misconduct over the past five years -- 50 within the prosecution and 80 within the ministry and its affiliated organizations -- that underwent internal inspection.
A team under the panel, including Park Eun-jung, head of the department for investigation of crimes against women and children at the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors’ Office, will conduct a weeklong inspection of records starting Tuesday.
Kwon In-sook, head of the committee for measures against sexual harassment and sexual crimes in the Justice Ministry (Yonhap)
The panel will focus on finding out whether the inspections were carried out effectively, whether the disciplinary measures were appropriate, and whether the victims were properly protected.
It will also look for possible attempts by the internal inspectors to cover up or downplay sexual misconduct cases.
If it finds that anything was overlooked or mishandled, the panel will advise the justice minister to take follow-up measures.
The panel does not have the right to investigate sexual harassment or sexual crime cases, and can only advise the justice minister.
Kwon In-sook, head of the panel, said in a press conference early last month that the panel would launch a special inquiry into around 100 cases of sexual misconduct by members of the Justice Ministry and the prosecution.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Personnel Management, officials under the Justice Ministry or the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office were punished for sexual misconduct in only 34 cases in the five years to 2016. Seventeen of the cases involved sexual harassment. Eleven were cases of sexual violence, and six involved prostitution.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com