‘Prosecution Mafia’ Seems to be Counted Out as a Case of Government Ma…

Pres. Park should reprimand officialdom pursuing s
기사입력 2014.07.02 11:39
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It seems that the prosecution’s will to investigate the government (bureaucratic) mafia for eradicating its corruption is unusual. However, the so-called ‘prosecution mafia’ (prosecution-related figures), which have been consistently spotted as an object of reformation, is out of the pale of restraint.

Starting from the investigation into the railway mafia (the bureaucratic mafia in the field of railway) and the education mafia (the mafia of the educational field) last month, the prosecution is expanding the range of investigation to the fields of communication and education this month. Since President Geun-hye Park pointed out the government mafia as the direct and indirect cause of the Sewol disaster, those four special investigation divisions, which were newly established this year, have rolled up their sleeves to root out the corruption by the government mafia.


Last month, the Special Investigation Division 1 at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’ Office started its investigation into the railroad supplies corruption scandal on the railway mafia, and Special Investigation Division 2 launched an investigation into the corruption by the education mafia. And this month, Special Investigation Division 3 and 4 started a full-fledged investigation into the communication mafia (the mafia of the communication field). In result, four special investigation divisions, which were newly organized this year, appear to pull a sharp knife on various places.

That means, the prosecution as well has to do kind of ‘self-reformation’ in regard to the internal troubles caused by its own corruption, but the majority of the people have a skeptical view about whether or not the prosecution will cut out its own rotten part itself. Such is the case with the politician mafia (the mafia of the political field) and the accountant mafia (government officials who have an accountant or tax accountant certificate) for whom the exceptional clause in job screening still exists since the pre-announcement of legislation on the revised Public Service Ethics Law

Special investigation divisions, which became the core of special investigation after the Central Investigation Division at the Prosecutor-General’s Office was shut down, have never embarked on investigation into several specific fields in one sweep like this time. Nevertheless, it is true that because of its alliance with uncomfortable links, we can’t say the prosecution’s will for ’full-scale investigation into the government mafia corruption scandal’ looks exactly fair.

The contents of this pre-announced legislation on the revised bill of Public Service Ethics Law were predictable ever since the government had a vice-ministers meeting in April and handed down ‘the initiative of the government reform’ to the Ministry of Security and Public Administration. The ministry left a clause of ‘the privileges of former post’ in the bill for those who have a certificate as a lawyer, judge, or tax accountant.

The purpose of the pre-announcement of legislation is to collect opinions from all walks of life. But as a result, ‘the original bill’ in favor of specific persons still remains stubbornly and President Park’ will for carrying out reforms in officialdom was halved.

The current Public Official Ethics Committee is composed of 11 members-7 members commissioned by the president and 4 appointed government officials. That composition is less likely to expect an objective and levelheaded screening on public officials. The rate of approval by the committee on public officials’ re-entry case, divided in 3 sections-government, judiciary and legislative, arrives mostly at 90 percent.

It appears that the Public Official Ethics Committee is under the circumstances that hardly come out of the standpoint and interest of public officials.

According to the revised enforcement ordinance, the scope of institutions subject to limitation in getting a job was expanded, including a profit-making private company and a non-profit, public service-related organization which is directly linked to safety supervision & licensing and controlling & procuring, a general hospital and its management corporation, a university and its school foundation. That will be welcomed. 

But, the way President Park doesn’t put a brake on politicians who are busy lining their own pockets seems unlikely to convince the people.

In the wake of the Sewol tragedy, President Park promised the eradication of the government mafia, but keeps contemplative position toward the prosecution and the legal community, where the privileges of former post are the most prevalent.

Meanwhile, there were recent buzzing suspicions of the back-scratching alliance of civilians and government agencies, where some investigators of the prosecution received money and goods from the former subject of criminal investigation for favor of the provider in exchange. If there is ‘an internal investigation’ by the prosecution which will block the spreading of the situation by ‘protecting the league of its own’, who should point out it indeed?

In order to make the atmospheric current of eradicating the government mafia to gain the confidence from the people, the institution monitoring corruption should set forth its internal integrity as a premise first.  In addition, the stubbornness to take stern legal action against any internal corruption should be exposed on the surface.

To successfully place President Park’s will to reform at people’s eye level, her severe reprimand and control on the officialdom pursuing its own interest would be required.


[HyoJin Cha, Reporter 기자 hjcha@worldyan.com]
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