Anchor: A committee tasked with deliberating disciplinary action for Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl decided on a two-month suspension, accepting four of six allegations levied against him. In a strong protest, Yoon said he will take legal steps.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: The Justice Ministry's disciplinary committee ordered a two-month suspension against Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl early Wednesday.
The unprecedented decision followed a 17-and-a-half-hour deliberation by four of the seven-member panel, following two vacancies and the exclusion of Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae who filed for the disciplinary review.
The panel recognized four of six allegations of misconduct against Yoon, including the illegal surveillance of judges presiding over cases involving ruling camp figures and intervention in the prosecution's collusion probe involving his close aide.
The committee also accepted the ministry's allegation that the top prosecutor violated political neutrality.
The panelists reportedly faced internal conflict before agreeing on the third-heaviest penalty of suspension on the five-tier system ranging from reprimand to dismissal.
The panel's decision will be executed by President Moon Jae-in upon the recommendation of Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae.
Yoon, who denies all the allegations, said the decision is unlawful and unfair, as well as aimed at dismissing him before his two-year term is set to end in July.
Prior to reaching its conclusion, the panel rejected Yoon's earlier requests to replace panel members suspected of being biased, fill up the two vacancies and for an extra day to prepare a final statement.
The chief prosecutor vowed to take legal action, saying the prosecution's political neutrality and autonomy, as well as constitutionalism, have been seriously damaged.
The rival political parties showed mixed reactions with the ruling Democratic Party expressing its respect for the committee's decision and hoping it will lead to prosecution reform.
The main opposition People Power Party, on the other hand, criticized it, calling it a unilateral conclusion and warning that the consequences will be felt later in the nation’s history.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Choo on Wednesday expressed her resolve to complete prosecution reform, saying the organization will exist for the people and realize justice desired by the public.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.