prosecutor general-nominee

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea should eradicate the age-old practice of retired judges and prosecutors receiving special favors from their coworkers after landing new jobs at major law firms, the nominee for prosecutor general said Sunday.

Chae Dong-wook, a senior prosecutor, was named to be the first prosecutor general of the President Park Geun-hye government on March 15. Chae awaits a confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Some retired judges and prosecutors have been criticized for landing jobs at major law firms where they allegedly amassed a large amount of wealth by using their close connections with former coworkers in resolving legal issues.

"Such practices distort the public process of decision making by linking between retired and current public servants, and they cause significant problems by hurting people's trust," Chae said in his report submitted to lawmakers ahead of the confirmation hearing.

"To wield an unjust and inappropriate influence as a former public official is a behavior that impacts the fairness in investigations and court rulings and it should be eradicated," he added.

He noted that people do not have trust in the prosecution due to disappointment with the results of some major investigations and recent corruption scandals involving members of the prosecution office.

The nominee said that he will push for a law revision that would prevent prosecutors who leave the office because of their involvement in corruption from practicing law. He also promised to bring in outside personnel to step up audits on office members.

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