S-Space College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원) The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean Law Journal of Korean Law Volume 06 Number 1/2 (2006)
Prosecutor, Police and Criminal Investigation in Korea: A Critical Review
- Pyo, Changwon
- Issue Date
- BK 21 law
- Journal of Korean Law, Vol.6 No.2, pp. 191-200
- The criminal investigation procedure is carried out under the direction of prosecutors who dominate power to investigate and prosecute, in Korea. The written record of interrogation resided by a prosecutor during investigation process is accepted as strong evidence in court even without or
against the defendant’s verbal testimony in court, unless clear evidence of torture or deception is presented by the defense. Before prosecution of a case, police can detain a suspect for 10 days upon issuance of a court warrant requested by a prosecutor. After turned over to the prosecutors’ office from
the police, a suspect can be detained for 20 more days by the prosecutors’ office for further investigation before prosecution is made.
The balance of power between the accuser and the accused is one of the basic conditions for seeking Justice and protecting human rights in criminal procedure. That critical balance is lost in Korea, where the prosecution is regarded as ‘the Untouchables’. Checks and balances between the investigator and the prosecutor is lost as well in Korea, where the Prosecutor is the investigator, director of police investigation and the prosecutor at the same time.
On the other hand, lack of public trust in the police who maintains dinosaur-like national force and the unwashed bad images from the Japanese colonial rule and the military dictatorship era have not been allowing the police the power of criminal investigation.
Being one of the developed and advanced countries in Asia, Korea needs to establish balance in the criminal investigation procedure.