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Prosecutors to discuss follow-up to justice minister's intervention in probe into alleged collusion case

All News 10:23 July 03, 2020

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Prosecutors Office will hold internal discussions Friday with senior prosecutors nationwide on how to respond to Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae's decision to command an investigation into an alleged collusion case, the office said.

In a rare move Thursday, Choo exercised her authority to oversee the prosecution's investigation, ordering Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl to suspend the convening of an expert advisory panel tasked with reviewing the case that involves a prosecutor believed to be close to Yoon.

She also instructed him to guarantee independence to a probe team in charge of the case at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office.

The suspected "prosecution-press collusion case" has received a lot of public attention for its potentially explosive nature of exposing cozy relations, if true, between a powerful prosecutor and a reporter.

The case centers on a reporter who is suspected of using his alleged close ties with prosecutor Han Dong-hoon, a close associate of Yoon, to pressure a jailed financier to divulge corrupt acts by a pro-government commentator.

Because of the presumably close relations between Han and Yoon, the convening of the advisory panel was suspected, by some, as a deliberate scheme to deter the on-going probe.

In response to the order from the justice minister, the office backed down from its previous plan to convene the advisory team slated for Friday and instead will consult the matter with senior prosecutors.

With his back against the wall following the justice minister's action and mounting political pressure on him to resign, Yoon may be trying to rally senior prosecutors for support.

The result of the prosecutors' meeting is expected to come out within the day.

The file photo, taken in the southeastern port city of Busan on Feb. 13, 2020, shows prosecutor Han Dong-hoon (L) and Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl (R). (Yonhap)


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