Justice ministry to file constitutional suit against prosecution reform legislation

SEOUL-- The Justice Ministry will file a constitutional petition Monday against a recently enacted law aimed at reducing and ultimately abolishing the prosecution's investigative powers, officials said.

Between late April and early May, the then ruling Democratic Party (DP)-controlled National Assembly passed revisions to the Prosecutors' Office Act and the Criminal Procedure Act despite fierce protest from the then opposition People Power Party.

The revisions, set to take effect in September, limit the prosecution's investigative powers to only two crime types -- corruption and economic crimes -- from the current six before removing them completely.

In the lawsuit, the justice ministry will dispute the constitutionality of the parliamentary legislation with a focus on whether the DP's railroading of the revisions infringed upon the rights of lawmakers of other parties and whether the legislation excessively restricts the functions of the prosecution.

Since taking office in mid-May, Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon has repeatedly slammed the legislation, saying it will serve to shield corrupt politicians from criminal punishment while hurting the interest of ordinary citizens.

Source: Yonhap News Agency