Updated August. 18, 2014 03:09
Jeju District Public Prosecutors` Office chief Kim Soo-chang was arrested for committing obscene acts with his genitals in front of a snack shop near Jeju Fire Station in Jeju City on Tuesday night last week and was questioned by the police. Kim gave his younger brothers name in order to hide his identity when being examined by the police. Upon running his fingerprints through the system, he was found out to have given someone elses name and belatedly gave his own name, but he hid his position to the end. Kim has denied the allegations as well. But the hiding his identity until the police dug it up is inviting suspicion.
Kim claims that the person who committed the obscene acts was a different person in similar clothing to his and that the police has mistaken himself for the culprit. Although the female high school student who reported the act identified Kim as the one who committed the lewd acts, it is difficult to conclude yet. The high school student said only that his appearance and clothing are similar. The police is analyzing the closed-circuit TV video taped at the store, but it is hazy, requiring more precise analysis to judge whether he is the one who committed obscene acts.
The veracity of the allegations aside, his actions at the police station are problematic. Giving his younger brothers name in police questioning is a type of obstruction of justice, which is a heavily punished act in developed nations including the U.S. Perhaps aware of prosecution-police disputes, Kim explained that he did so as he could have inflicted damage to the prosecution. But if the allegations are not true, there is no reason to be damaged. Rather, hiding his identity could give rise to suspicions that he is hiding something. The prosecution has dispatched the chief of inspection of the Supreme Prosecutors` Office to Jeju and conducted an inspection. Yet since the police is investigating this case, the inspection by the prosecution should be done later.
If a high-ranking officer who has been a prosecutor for 21 years was arrested when innocent, he should have revealed himself. It is unheard of, perhaps due to my lack of knowledge, that even a rank and file prosecutor, much less a chief prosecutor, was jailed for 11 hours before being released. They said he was not even intoxicated with alcohol. On Kims allegations, fair, transparent investigations should be conducted. The Justice Ministry and the prosecution should make Kim step down from his position in order for investigations to proceed smoothly. Since the police are commanded by the Jeju district prosecutors office, if he retains his position as its chief, the investigation may be hampered and no matter what results come out, the public will find it difficult to understand.