The Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) has proposed a reorganization outline to establish an independent investigative bureau, free from the clouts of police commissioner and state prosecution to become a Korean version of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The idea is part of the agency’s plan to reorganize itself in line with President Moon Jae-in’s pledge to have prosecutors share its exclusive investigative authority in criminal cases with the police for reform in the state prosecution that has been under criticism for heavy political influence.
The proposal is currently under review internally by the government.
Justice Minister nominee Park Sang-ki, a Yonsei University professor on criminal law, in the past argued for independent police investigative power for check and balance in law enforcement authorities.
According to the outline draft obtained by Maeil Business Newspaper on Tuesday, the new investigative bureau will be completely independent of the control of the KNPA chief and oversee investigative functions of police organizations across the nation. The KNPA’s special investigative bureau, intelligence crime unit and cybercrime investigation squad that are under the command of the KNPA chief will be disbanded and absorbed into district police agencies.
The special investigative bureau had been directly controlled by Cheong Wa Dae and later was moved to the headquarters building and came under influence of senior police officers.
The move also aims to ensure political neutrality and impartiality once the national police become allowed to share the authority with state prosecutors to initiate criminal process.
By Yeon Kyu-wook
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]