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Opposition raises heat on Moon over prosecutorial reform

People Power Party floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young speaks at a meeting of lawmakers on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
People Power Party floor leader Rep. Joo Ho-young speaks at a meeting of lawmakers on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Rep. Joo Ho-young, floor leader of the main opposition People Power Party on Wednesday demanded a meeting with President Moon Jae-in, accusing the president of setting in motion the controversies surrounding the prosecutors’ office.

“President Moon is the cause of the situation, and the person most in charge,” Joo said at a meeting of People Power Party lawmakers, adding that he has requested a meeting with Moon.

“I will ask in person if the actions of the Democratic Party and Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae are his will, and just what he is thinking in conducting state affairs.”

In a social media post, Joo went on to claim that the new investigative body will be used as a tool of oppression.

“The CIO will be reduced to an organization to oppress the opposition party, and its first case will be that of Prosecutor-General Yoon Seok-youl,” Joo wrote.

Joo was referring to the ruling Democratic Party pushing through revision on regulations concerning the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials or CIO that was to be put to the National Assembly’s plenary session later in the day.

The revision, approved by the parliamentary Legislation and Judiciary Committee against resistance from the opposition party on Tuesday, effectively removes the opposition party’s right to veto a candidate for the post of Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials chief.

As for Choo, the justice minister has been engaged in a drawn out battle with Prosecutor-General Yoon Seok-youl, and has referred him to the ministry’s disciplinary committee. Choo and the ruling party claims that Yoon made a number of serious violations, but the conservative bloc claims that the ruling bloc is attempting to remove Yoon for probing politically sensitive issues.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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