NATIONAL

Moon likely to go ahead with appointment of top prosecutor

By Kim So-hyun
  • Published : Jul 10, 2019 - 15:20
  • Updated : Jul 10, 2019 - 17:36

President Moon Jae-in was set to request a report from the National Assembly on Wednesday on the confirmation hearing of Prosecutor General nominee Yoon Seok-youl -- a report that two opposition parties have refused to adopt, accusing Yoon of perjury.

A Cheong Wa Dae official told Yonhap News that the president would make the request Wednesday.


Yoon Seok-youl (Yonhap)

A day after the main opposition Liberty Korea Party decided not to adopt the report on Yoon’s confirmation hearing, which would have signaled its approval of Yoon as prosecutor general, the minor Bareunmirae Party followed suit Wednesday, saying he was unfit for the job as he lied during the hearing about a possible cover-up of a bribery case involving his friend’s brother.

The nominee is suspected of having recommended a lawyer to his friend’s brother. Public servants in positions linked to court trials or investigations are prohibited by law from introducing lawyers to those facing trial or investigation.

Both parties urged Yoon to step down.

“Appointing Yoon, who committed perjury at the hearing, as the top prosecutor would undermine the prosecution’s credibility,” Bareunmirae Floor Leader Oh Shin-hwan told reporters Wednesday.

Moon submitted a request for a confirmation hearing for Yoon on June 20. By law, the National Assembly must complete the confirmation hearing process within 20 days after the president submits a request. If the National Assembly fails to send its report on the hearing by the deadline, the president can issue a request for the report within 10 days.

The Liberty Korea Party and Bareunmirae are considering filing a complaint against Yoon, alleging that he violated the law on attorney conduct.

The ruling Democratic Party, however, continued to defend Yoon, saying it has been verified that he did not commit perjury.

“There was no significant reason to withdraw the nomination,” Democratic Party Floor Leader Lee In-young said Wednesday at a meeting of senior party officials.

“With integrity and a strong sense of duty, Yoon never forgot his duty as a prosecutor. I am confident that he will contribute toward strengthening the prosecution’s neutrality and independence without being constrained by those in power.”

Lee asked the Liberty Korea Party and Bareunmirae to refrain from attempts to “put a bridle of lies and perjury on Yoon.”

The ruling bloc has championed Yoon as the right person to lead the Moon administration’s prosecutorial reform drive, which includes balancing investigative rights between the prosecution and the police.

Yoon was a key member of the special prosecutorial team that investigated the corruption and power abuse scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil. He also led the probe into allegations that the National Intelligence Service interfered with the 2012 presidential election.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)


Related Stories