Top Office Unveils Reform Plan of Investigative Authorities open the window of AOD

Write : 2018-01-21


Last Sunday, the presidential office announced plans to reform the country's three major investigation agencies – police, prosecution and the spy agency.
Political parties have issued mixed reactions to the reform plan.
Cho Kuk, the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, announced in a news briefing that in a bid to prevent abuses of power, the government will create a new office under the guidance of the police to take over anti-espionage cases from the National Intelligence Service.
Under the plans, the spy agency will not engage in domestic politics and will hand over its anti-espionage affairs to the police. It will instead focus on gathering intelligence on North Korea and foreign issues.
The government also plans to keep the police department in check, by separating investigative and administrative police branches. It will also introduce new self-autonomous police agencies under the direct leadership of all major autonomous local governments.
Meanwhile, the prosecution's power to directly investigate cases will be limited to only special cases, while high-profile corruption cases involving senior public officials will be handed over to an envisioned independent investigative body.
Reforming the spy agency and law enforcement was a key election pledge of President Moon Jae-in. This task was number 13 among the top 100 policy goals that were set by the presidential transition team and advisory committee.
Secretary Cho laid out the underlining principles of the reform plan as rooting out corruption of the past era, controlling abuse of power through mutual checks and balances, and establishing state power agencies that serve the people.
The top office seeks to have the agencies sever all political ties and solely focus on their duties.
Rival parties' reactions to the reform plan were poles apart.
Ruling Democratic Party chairwoman Choo Mi-ae said the plan is a demand made by the people to the government to correct abuses of power. But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party(LKP) strongly protested the plan as a “change for the worse.”
An LKP lawmaker has even hinted at refusing any related discussions at a parliament committee level.
Meanwhile, the People’s Party was positive about the measures, saying the emphasis on checks and balances is the right move, and the Justice Party also expressed strong support. But the Bareun Party blasted the plan as an attempt to control investigative agencies.
A tough road is expected ahead in the legislative process.

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