The ruling Democratic Party continued to defend Yoon, saying he is fit to lead the prosecution and to continue a reform drive. It added that the confirmation hearing on Monday did not reveal any crippling allegations or evidence against the nominee.
|Prosecutor-general nominee Yoon Seok-youl at the parliamentary confirmation hearing on Monday. Yonhap|
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party, for its part, stepped up its attack, saying the confirmation hearing had been filled with Yoon’s lies.
“Nominee Yoon’s confirmation hearing was a party of lies that made a mockery of the people,” Liberty Korea Party Floor Leader Rep. Na Kyung-won said, calling on Yoon to forfeit his nomination.
During Monday’s hearing, Yoon denied claims that he had any involvement in the 2013 bribery case involving Yoon Woo-jin, ex-chief of the NTS Yongsan District Office. Yoon Woo-jin -- not related to the prosecutor-general nominee -- is the brother of Deputy Minister for Criminal Affairs Yoon Dae-jin.
Yoon Seok-youl and Yoon Dae-jin are believed to have a very close relationship. They were reportedly referred to as “Big Yoon” and “Little Yoon” within the prosecution.
Yoon Woo-jin was investigated by police over allegations that he received 20 million won ($17,020) in cash, 100 sets of ribs and 40 million won worth of golf rounds from a local businessman. He was acquitted in 2015.
Despite Yoon Seok-youl’s denial, a Liberty Korea Party lawmaker later disclosed a recording in which Yoon Seok-youl said he would tell Lee Nam-seok to meet Yoon Woo-jin.
In the recording, made in 2012 by a journalist, Yoon Seok-youl is heard saying, “I told Lee Nam-seok to meet Yoon Woo-jin, without telling Dae-jin.”
Following the disclosure of the recording, Yoon Seok-youl apologized, but said that as Lee was not appointed as Yoon Woo-jin’s attorney, no violation of related laws had occurred.
The Act on Attorney-at-Law prohibits public servants in positions linked to court trial or investigation from introducing a lawyer to those subject to trial or investigation.
Meanwhile, those linked to the allegations backed Yoon Seok-youl’s claims.
Lee told reporters that he had meet Yoon Woo-jin in 2012, but that he was acting on Yoon Dae-jin’s suggestion rather than Yoon Seok-youl’s.
Lee also said he did not provide legal services and that he only listened to his side of the story as the former tax official was “in a very serious state.”
Yoon Dae-jin has said that he introduced Lee to his brother and that Yoon Seok-youl was likely to have been attempting to shield him by telling the journalist that he was the connection between Lee and Yoon Woo-jin.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com)