South Korea's Justice Minister Cho Kuk has announced a set of short and medium-term prosecutorial reform plans, most of which center on curbing the prosecution's power and prioritizing human rights.
"I will exert my utmost efforts to systematize a prosecutorial reform that prioritizes the rights of the public.
I will correct the wrong investigative customs of the prosecution so that it respects the rights of the people and exercises self-control.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, the newly appointed justice minister highlighted the urgency of reforming the prosecution.
Under the immediate measures, prosecutors will only be able to use investigative vehicles for work purposes. The measures also create a special committee to check the legitimacy of prosecutors being transferred to other government organizations.
In October, the ministry will push to abolish the special investigative units of the prosecution offices around the nation, which mostly focused on high-profile corruption, leaving only three major offices with such units.
As part of efforts to protect the human rights of those being questioned, the ministry will ban long and late-night questioning sessions and minimize the summoning of suspects and witnesses.
The Justice Ministry will also more closely monitor the prosecution and its administrative affairs.
As for medium-term goals, Cho pledged to reshuffle the organization so that prosecutors could better focus on their duties.
He also vowed to meet with incumbent prosecutors and the prosecution staff to listen to their opinions on how to improve the organization's management and performance.
The latest announcement marks the first time Cho unveiled his vision for change to the public since he took office last month.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.