SEOUL – The prosecutor who led the investigation into former South Korean President Park Geun-hye resigned as lawyer common on Thursday, paving the best way for a attainable presidential election subsequent yr.
Yoon Seok-youl, who strongly opposes the prosecution reforms initiated by President Moon Jae-in’s administration, left with a pointy assault on the federal government and the ruling get together.
“The spirit of the structure and the constitutional system of presidency are collapsing, and the folks will undergo. I can not stand apart and watch justice and customary sense come undone,” Yoon mentioned. “My work on the DA’s workplace is completed.”
Though he didn’t focus on his future plans, Yoon mentioned he would do all the pieces attainable to “defend liberal democracy and defend the folks”, suggesting he may run within the presidential election scheduled for March. 2022.
The Moon administration lobbied to cut back the authority of the highly effective prosecutor’s workplace.
In January, the federal government established a brand new workplace to research corruption amongst senior authorities officers, eradicating that function from prosecutors. In the identical month, one other regulation transferred investigative energy from prosecutors to the police. In February, the ruling Democratic Celebration of Korea proposed a invoice to switch the ability to research six areas, together with fraud and corruption, to a newly fashioned group that investigates severe crimes. Yoon strongly opposed these measures.
Throughout Park’s time (2013-2017), Yoon investigated a case by which an intelligence company manipulated data for the president’s profit. This led to him being demoted.
The Moon administration recalled him to the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Workplace and finally elevated him to the primary publish of prosecutor. Nonetheless, when Yoon started investigating features of the Moon administration, officers demoted his investigative group assistants and prosecutors. Yoon was additionally briefly suspended.
Yoon, who is not afraid to problem authority, is widespread with the general public. In response to polling agency Realmeter, Yoon has the second highest help price amongst potential candidates for election, behind Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung, a member of Moon’s Democratic Celebration. Lee Nak-yon, the get together chief was ranked third.
Conservative opposition events, which have been unable to discover a robust candidate for the following election, are banking on Yoon’s candidacy.
“The folks will demand that Yoon come ahead to steer the conflict with the Moon administration,” Chang Je-won, a lawmaker and member of the Individuals’s Energy Celebration, mentioned on a tv broadcast. “It would assist the opposition camp.”
The ruling Democratic Celebration, in the meantime, was essential.
“It grew to become clear that this was a lie when Mr. Yoon, in his inaugural tackle as Lawyer Normal, mentioned he would proceed to reform the prosecutor’s workplace till it grew to become an establishment to which the folks believe, “mentioned a spokesperson for the get together.