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Justice ministry's inspection committee advises against top prosecutor's suspension

All News 15:27 December 01, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) -- The inspection committee under the justice ministry advised Tuesday against the decision to suspend the top prosecutor from duty based on what it said were procedural flaws.

The committee unanimously reached the conclusion after more than three hours of debate held at the government complex in Gwacheon, south of Seoul, with officials from the both sides in attendance.

The committee concluded that there were serious flaws in the decision-making process, as Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl had not been properly informed of allegations against him in advance and had not been given enough time to explain his positions on them.

"Seeking disciplinary measures, suspending him from duty and launching investigations against him were not appropriate," the committee said.

In a short statement, the ministry squarely refuted the committee's findings but said it would "fully take note of the recommendation."

Early last week, Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae suspended Yoon from duty as she sought a disciplinary measure against him over six counts of alleged misdeeds, including collecting personal information of justices in charge of cases related to a former justice minister and suspected election interference by presidential officials.

Yoon sought a preliminary injunction Wednesday at the Seoul Administrative Court to stop the unprecedented order from going into effect and filed a lawsuit the next day.

The court has been deliberating on the injunction request since Monday, but the result has yet to come out.

The committee's conclusion, while not legally binding, could work in favor of Yoon during the meeting of the ministry's disciplinary committee, slated for Wednesday.

In the Nov. 20, 2020, file photo, Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl rides in a car going to work at the Supreme Prosecutors Office. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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