Seongjae Park “Criminal procedures are delayed due to adjustment of investigative authority… Investigation and prosecution cannot be separated”

Seongjae Park “Criminal procedures are delayed due to adjustment of investigative authority… Investigation and prosecution cannot be separated”

“Restrictions on the role of prosecutors, weakening of the protection of citizens’ basic rights… Deterioration of the Ministry of Justice’s expertise due to de-prosecution”
“Mutual respect with the Prosecutor General and each person’s role… Impeachment cannot put pressure on the prosecution.”

Park Seong-jae, candidate for Minister of Justice, said, “It is a big problem that criminal justice procedures are being delayed in investigations and trials after the so-called adjustment of investigative powers,” and said he would consider ways to improve it.

Candidate Park answered questions about future key tasks in a written Q&A submitted to the National Assembly on the 13th as follows.

Candidate Park Seong-jae, who was nominated as the second Minister of Justice under the Yoon Seok-yeol administration, answers questions from reporters as he goes to work at the personnel hearing preparation team office set up at the Seoul High Prosecutors’ Office in Seocho-gu on January 25. yunhap news

When asked about the cause of the decline in public trust in the prosecution, he repeatedly revealed positions that were contradictory to the previous government’s ‘prosecution reform’ policy, such as citing ‘delay in procedures due to adjustment of investigative authority’.

Regarding the so-called ‘complete prosecution’ (complete deprivation of the prosecution’s right to investigate), “After the Criminal Procedure Act and the Prosecutor’s Office Act were revised without sufficient review, there were criticisms about the controversy over delayed and poor investigations, the gap in public protection due to the weakening of crime response capabilities, and criminal procedures that became difficult to understand.” “There was,” he said.

He continued, “There is a need to consider whether the prosecutor’s prosecution function is not working properly or whether the prosecutor’s role in investigating important crimes is being restricted, resulting in a weakening of the people’s basic rights protection.”

On the other hand, regarding the ‘reinstatement of the prosecutor’s office’ (restoration of the prosecution’s investigative authority), he said, “The enforcement ordinance was revised within the scope of delegation of the law to resolve various side effects.”

Regarding the opinion that the prosecution’s right to investigate and prosecute should be separated, he refuted, “The right to investigate and prosecute cannot be formally separated because they are organically connected to each other.”

Regarding the previous government’s policy of de-prosecuting the Ministry of Justice, he said, “There were a number of problems, including a decline in the Ministry of Justice’s professionalism,” and added, “It is important to appoint talented people to the right positions regardless of whether they are internal or external.”

Candidate Park also argued for the need to expand the number of prosecutors, saying, “The workload of prosecutors is continuously increasing due to changes in the investigation and trial system.”

Regarding the relationship between the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General, he said, “They should respect each other and perform their respective duties and roles in accordance with the law.”

Candidate Park said, “Since a revision to the Prosecutors’ Office Act has been submitted to the National Assembly that includes provisions to abolish the Minister of Justice’s investigative command authority for specific cases and require independent allocation of the prosecution budget, I will faithfully support it during legislative discussions.”

Chairman Kim Do-eup is presiding over the plenary meeting of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee held at the National Assembly on January 31. yunhap news

When asked about his position on First Lady Kim Kun-hee’s receipt of luxury bags, suspicions of stock manipulation at Deutsche Motors, and re-investigation on suspicion of instigating accusations, he did not respond for reasons such as the fact that the matter was under investigation and pending.

Regarding the prosecution’s special activity expenses, he said, “It is necessary considering the nature of investigative work that requires confidentiality,” and “it is difficult to entrust execution checks to an external agency to meet the purpose of the special activity expenses.”

Regarding incumbent prosecutors running for general elections, he said, “Once a resignation letter is received, there is no way to prevent them from joining a political party or registering as a candidate even before it is accepted,” and added, “There needs to be an institutional discussion to ensure the political neutrality of public officials.”

Regarding the ongoing impeachment process for prosecutors Son Jun-seong and Lee Jeong-seop, Candidate Park said, “I believe the Constitutional Court will make the right decision,” and added, “However, as impeachment is a supplementary and emergency system, impeachment is for the purpose set by the Constitution and law. “It should not be used as a means of putting political pressure on the prosecution,” he said.

Candidate Park expressed his position on the death penalty system, saying, “It is an issue that must be approached carefully by comprehensively reviewing its general preventive function, public opinion, legal sentiment, and domestic and international situations.”

Regarding the National Security Act, he said, “The National Security Act is necessary in the current situation where the security threat from North Korea has not been resolved,” and “Considering our country’s security situation, North Korea can be seen as the main enemy.”

Park Seong-jae, candidate for Minister of Justice, answers questions with reporters as he goes to work at the personnel hearing preparation team office set up at the Seoul High Prosecutors’ Office in Seocho-gu, Seoul on January 25.

Regarding the Yellow Envelope Law, it was evaluated that “making exceptions only for certain people or groups so that they cannot be held jointly responsible for illegal acts is unfair and has the potential to infringe on the constitutional rights to equality, property rights, and the right to a trial.”

Regarding the enactment of anti-discrimination laws and the legalization of same-sex marriage, he said, “Sufficient social discussion and national consensus need to come first.”

Candidate Park said of plea bargaining, “I know it as one of the advanced systems that improves the efficiency of the criminal justice system,” and said, “I will closely look into the need for its introduction.”

Regarding the plan for face-to-face hearings on search and seizure warrants, he expressed a negative opinion, saying, “There is a possibility of violating the separation of powers and legal principles of criminal procedure, and there is a risk of investigation confidential information being leaked during the interrogation process.”

Regarding the introduction of the conditional arrest warrant system, he said, “It is difficult to prevent the destruction of evidence and there are concerns of retaliatory crimes.”

Regarding the right to request transfer from the High-ranking Public Officials Crime Investigation Office (Corruption Investigation Office), he said, “There is an opinion that it violates the autonomy of other investigative agencies and the basic rights of those involved in the case and causes delays in the investigation.”

Regarding the personnel verification work for public officials, Candidate Park said, “I think the Ministry of Justice has expertise,” and “I will guide and supervise to improve the objectivity and fairness of the primary verification work in line with the purpose of establishing the Ministry of Justice’s Personnel Information Management Group.”


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