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Prosecution to crack down on legal sector corruption

All Headlines 15:11 August 31, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's prosecution on Wednesday announced a set of measures to fight against irregularities involving legal professionals amid a series of corruption scandals rocking the country.

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office said it will establish task forces under each district prosecutors' office to investigate corruption cases involving lawyers and brokers.

It also plans to operate a team specialized in intelligence gathering to ferret out those that break the law.

The prosecution said it will strengthen the authority of inspectors and form a new inspection team charged with monitoring high-ranking prosecutors and launching probes when corruption is suspected.

Also, those who work at departments dealing with stock information will be prohibited from buying and selling stocks while at their posts, it said.

This reflects the public backlash caused by suspicious accumulation of wealth involving former senior prosecutor Jin Kyung-joon.

The 49-year-old was indicted in late July on allegations of receiving over 950 million won (US$856,000) in bribes from Kim Jung-ju, the founder of the country's leading online game maker Nexon Co.

Earlier this month, the justice ministry dismissed Jin, making him the first incumbent prosecutor at a level comparable to a vice minister to be sacked.

In June, prosecutor-turned-lawyer Hong Man-pyo was indicted over allegations he received some 300 million won from the former head of a local cosmetics brand in return for illegal lobbying.

He was a prominent prosecutor who investigated major corruption cases that involved the country's former presidents.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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