prosecution chief-inauguration

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new top prosecutor Chae Dong-wook on Thursday vowed to reform the prosecution as he took charge of the embattled agency after a series of disgraceful scandals.

"I stress the importance of self-examination and reform to share my determination with all of you to put an end to a disgraceful era," Chae said in his inauguration speech at a ceremony attended by about 300 prosecution officials.

The prosecution has recently been embroiled in a string of high-profile scandals within the organization, prompting public criticism and the resignation of former Prosecutor General Han Sang-dae.

"The fastest way to restore the public's trust is to faithfully do the assigned job," the 54-year-old Chae said, emphasizing the need to restore the organization's credibility.

The new head also mentioned an alternative system to replace the powerful Central Investigation Unit within the Supreme Prosecutors' Office that will be abolished by end of the year.

The elite unit, which handles bribery cases involving high-profile government officials, politicians and businessmen, has long been accused of political bias and often blamed for lacking the prosecution's political neutrality.

Chae proposed establishing a separate department at the top prosecution office that can command special investigations by local offices. The special prosecutor system offers independent and exclusive authority to prosecutors picked by the Prosecutor General.

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