National Assembly Passes Bill to Impeach Prosecutor: Democratic Party’s Move Sparks Controversy

National Assembly Passes Bill to Impeach Prosecutor: Democratic Party’s Move Sparks Controversy

Kim Yong-min, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea, and others are holding a press conference on the prosecution’s impeachment bill at the National Assembly Communication Hall in Yeouido, Seoul on the 19th. /News 1

For the first time in constitutional history, a bill to impeach a prosecutor was passed at the plenary session of the National Assembly on the 21st. This was proposed by the Democratic Party of Korea two days before the plenary session. The Democratic Party, which led the impeachment of the prosecutor, cited the reason that the prosecutor in question ‘revengefully indicted’ Yoo Woo-seong, a victim of the Seoul Metropolitan Government official spy manipulation case, on charges of violating the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act. However, there is a response from the ruling party, saying, “Isn’t this a ‘retaliatory impeachment’ against the prosecutors who requested an arrest warrant for Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung?”

At the plenary session on this day, the ‘Impeachment Proposal against Busan District Prosecutor’s Office 2nd Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ahn Dong-wan’, proposed by Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Yong-min on the 19th with the signatures of 106 opposition party members, was passed under the leadership of the Democratic Party, which has a majority of 167 seats. The passing vote was 180 votes. A motion for impeachment is passed with the approval of a majority of registered members. This is the first time that a prosecutor’s impeachment bill has been passed by the National Assembly. In 2007, impeachment bills against the BBK investigation and prosecutors were proposed, but none of them reached a vote in the plenary session and were discarded.

Representative Kim stated in the grounds for impeachment, “Ahn Dong-wan was a prosecutor in the 2nd Criminal Division of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office who was in charge of the ‘Yu Woo-sung remittance case to North Korea’ in 2014 and indicted the victim, Yoo Woo-sung, on charges of violating the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act.” He added, “The Supreme Court will decide in 2021 On October 14, it was judged that the prosecution’s belated indictment of the ‘Yu Woo-sung remittance to North Korea case’ on charges of illegal remittance to North Korea, which had previously been suspended, was an ‘abuse of the power of prosecution.’ “This is the Supreme Court’s first ruling recognizing abuse of public prosecution rights,” he said.

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At the same time, “The prosecution initially investigated Yoo Woo-sung’s alleged remittance to North Korea in March 2010, but concluded the case with a suspended indictment considering that Yoo’s degree of involvement was minor and that he was a first-time offender,” he said. “Four years later, in 2014, the Seoul Metropolitan Government The National Intelligence Service and the prosecution faced a major crisis as the evidence in the ‘Civil Servant Espionage Manipulation Case’ was revealed to have been fabricated and expanded into a diplomatic issue. “Then, the prosecution claimed that they brought up the ‘North Korea remittance case’, which had already received a suspended indictment, even in violation of internal guidelines, and belatedly carried out a ‘retaliatory prosecution’ against Yoo Woo-seong.” Rep. Kim said, “Prosecutor Ahn Dong-wan used the power of the prosecution to destroy an individual’s life for the benefit of the prosecution organization, which was in crisis. “He unfairly abused his power to prosecute in order to seek revenge at the organizational level.”

At the 8th plenary session of the 410th National Assembly (regular session) held at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul on the afternoon of the 21st, lawmakers of the Democratic Party of Korea passed a motion for the arrest of Representative Lee Jae-myung, with 295 total votes, 149 votes, 136 votes, 6 abstentions, and 4 invalid votes. I am disappointed that it was passed by vote. /News 1

However, People Power Party lawmaker Jang Dong-hyuk, a member of the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee, who proposed that the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee first investigate the reasons for the prosecutor’s impeachment through an explanation of the proposal at the plenary session on this day, said, “According to the Supreme Court precedent, the fact that the prosecutor abused his power to prosecute does not directly lead to abuse of power.” did. They also said that the prosecution’s reinvestigation of Mr. Yoo Woo-seong was not a “vengeance by the prosecution organization,” as the Democratic Party claims, but was a legitimate investigation based on a complaint by a civic group, and charges were raised in the process.

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Prosecutor Ahn, who was subject to impeachment, also maintains that he only conducted an investigation after new criminal charges were discovered in a case where indictment was suspended at the time, and that he never took political considerations or carried out a ‘retaliatory prosecution’.

Prosecutor Ahn previously told the prosecution’s internal network, “This case was not investigated and indicted because the National Security Act (espionage) case was acquitted or the trial prosecutors were disciplined,” and “As a result of the investigation (the accusation case), the indictment was suspended once. “New evidence was discovered in this incident, and the existing disposition was corrected,” he said. Prosecutor Ahn also refuted, “In practice, when new evidence is discovered and the circumstances change, not only is the indictment suspended, but cases that have already been dismissed without charges are often reopened and indicted.”

On this day, the National Assembly passed the prosecutor’s impeachment bill, moving the ball to the Constitutional Court’s impeachment trial. During the Constitutional Court review, the prosecutor’s authority is suspended. If the Constitutional Court decides on impeachment, the prosecutor in question cannot become a public official for five years and cannot work as a lawyer for five years according to the Attorney-at-Law Act.

The Democratic Party and Rep. Kim said, “We will not stop impeaching prosecutors here to clearly establish that prosecutors who make mistakes will be punished by the National Assembly on behalf of the people.” “We will continue to pursue it.”

On the other hand, Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon met with reporters that day and said, “They decided to impeach as a counterpoint to the investigation of Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung and then selected (the prosecutor in question).” He added, “They said they were impeaching the Minister of National Defense at first, but where did they go? “It is questionable whether the method of searching for an impeachment target after deciding to impeach is in line with the severity of the impeachment system established by our Constitution,” he said.

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2023-09-21 08:37:47
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