South Korea set-up anti-corruption investigation agency
Agency authorized to probe corruption cases among high officials, local media said
South Korea on Thursday formally set-up a powerful anti-corruption agency to investigate high-ranking officials, according to local media.
President Moon Jae-in formally authorized Kim Jin-wook to lead the agency after the National Assembly endorsed his appointment earlier in the day following his confirmation hearing, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Kim, 54, is a former judge who will lead the high-power investigative agency with his 65-member prosecutors and investigators team.
"I am fully aware that the people hope to see corruption among senior officials rooted out and powerful institutions reformed," the agency quoted Kim as saying during his confirmation hearing.
The government has authorized the agency to investigate corruption cases of government officials, lawmakers, and prosecutors, including the president.
The investigation agency also has the power to indict when it comes to crimes involving the chief justice, prosecutor general, judges, prosecutors, high-ranking police and military officials, according to the agency.
Currently, two South Korean former presidents are in jail over conviction in corruption charges.
On Monday, Moon rejected any early moves to offer a special pardon for his two incarcerated predecessors.
"The move to give Park and Lee special pardons will not be accepted by the people's common sense and I can't accept those either," Moon said.
On Jan. 14, South Korea's top court upheld a 20-year prison sentence for former president Park Geun-hye, the country's first female leader, over corruption.
Earlier in October, the country's top court upheld a 17-year prison sentence of former President Lee Myung-bak on corruption charges.
*Writing by Islamuddin SajidAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.