Prosecutor-General Bows out with Parting Salvo

  • By Kim Ah-jin

    March 05, 2021 09:49

    Maverick Prosecutor-General Yoon Suk-yeol resigned on Thursday after accusing the Moon Jae-in administration of destroying "common sense and justice."

    Yoon's resignation came two days after he vowed to stake his position against the government's new compliant anti-corruption body that wrests investigative powers from the prosecution in cases of corruption among holders of high office.

    Yoon's term, which was scheduled to end in July, was blighted by a botched government campaign to oust him over a slew of corruption investigations that were getting uncomfortably close to President Moon Jae-in and his cronies.

    Prosecutor-General Yoon Suk-yeol (center) leaves his office in Seoul on Thursday.

    "The constitutional spirit and rule of law are being destroyed," Yoon told reporters on his way to his office. A day earlier, Yoon said during a visit to the High Prosecutors' Office in Daegu, "The prosecution of the people signifies independence from pressure from above while punishing even those in power according to principle in order to protect the weak."

    He continued to lambast the Moon Jae-in administration on his way out on Thursday. "It has become too difficult for me to stand by and watch the destruction of common sense and justice our society has built up over a long period of time," he said. "My role at the prosecution ends here."

    But he vowed to do his best to "uphold democratic principles and protect the people," a hint that he now plans to enter politics. Some expect Yoon to lend his support to an opposition candidate for Seoul mayor in the by-election in April.

    After the botched campaign to oust Yoon that made him a Robin Hood-style hero to the people, he is also a popular contender for the presidential election next year.

    Moon accepted Yoon's resignation just an hour after it was announced.

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