The logo of Prosecution Service is seen in this July 10, 2019 file photo. Korea Times photo by Hong Ihn-ki

An anti-corruption monitoring body from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has decided to dispatch an inspection team to Korea over concerns that the country’s recent prosecution reform could weaken its anti-corruption capabilities, sources said Wednesday.The OECD Working Group on Bribery (WGB) reached the decision at its regular meeting session in December in Paris, France, and resolved to dispatch an inspection team to Korea within the first half of the year, legal sources here said.It is in response to the Korean National Assembly’s revisions of the Prosecutors’ Office Act and the Criminal Procedure Act, which reduce and ultimately abolish the investigative powers of the prosecution, long accused of abuse of power and political meddling. The revisions took effect in September 2022.

During the December session, member countries of the WGB voiced concerns that the revisions could weaken the country’s capacity to respond to corruption and delay investigations.The sources said that the inspection team will be dispatched to Korea before June to monitor the status of corruption investigations by the police and prosecution and assess how the prosecution reform legislation has affected the country’s investigative capabilities.Since signing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 1997, the WGB has been monitoring Korea’s anti-corruption response capabilities and investigative system.The WGB had previously voiced “serious concerns” over the prosecution reform laws, saying, “The amendments seriously hamper the prosecution’s ability to investigate and prosecute foreign bribery 스포츠토토존 offenses.” 

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