1,532 cases.

As of the afternoon of the 11th, this is the number of complaints, accusations and complaints received by the High-ranking Public Officials Crime Investigation Office (hereinafter referred to as the Public Security Service).

Among them, there are many cases in which the structure of the case is relatively uncomplicated, such as the case of the incumbent chief judge's accusation of bribery.

The incumbent chief judge is the subject of the investigation by the Ministry of Airborne Affairs, and there are relatively few political controversies compared to other cases.

However, the Airborne Service did not initiate an investigation, only proceeding with the investigation of the accuser several times.

Let's look at the cases that the Airborne Service has launched an investigation over the past five months.

▲ Suspicion of unfair special hiring of Seoul Superintendent Cho Hee-yeon (Case No. 1 and 2 of 2021 deduction), ▲ Suspicion of false preparation and leakage of interview report by Yoon Jung-cheon (No. 3), ▲ Suspicion of leaking of the indictment of Seoul High Prosecutor Lee Seong-yoon (No. It is a suspicion of extra-investigation pressure related to the illegal departure ban (Exemption No. 5 and No. 6) of the former Deputy Attorney General.

All of these cases are not cases initiated by the Airlift Service itself, but cases that have been handed over or requested to be handed over by other agencies.

The selective investigation by the Airborne Service was frowned upon every time.

This is because the interests of both sides clash sharply, and depending on the investigation situation, the political circles can react sensitively.

Since we have had a case for a long time under the pretext that the investigation conditions were not properly established, there has been constant criticism that the investigation is being crushed, and the tags of 'obstructive investigation' and 'government protection agency' are not being shaken off.

"The investigation department in charge of Yoon Seok-yeol is embarrassed… Kim Jin-wook seems to feel the pressure"

In the midst of this, it became known that on the 4th, the Ministry of Airborne Affairs also launched an investigation into former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol. The representative of the Citizens' Action for Improving Justice and Justice, who accused the former President Yoon, heard from the Ministry of Public Security and the public the facts of the prosecution of former President Yoon and the case numbers (Exemption Nos. 7 and 8), and reported it to the media.

There are two allegations raised by the accuser. One is the allegation of poorly conducting the Optimus fund fraud investigation in May 2019, when Yoon served as the head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office. The other is that the prosecution interfered with the investigation into the allegation that the prosecution persuaded the inmates to testify in the trial of former Prime Minister Han Myung-sook while serving as the Prosecutor General. In the case involving former Prime Minister Han, former Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae started disciplinary action after judging former President Yoon on suspicion of misconduct, and after going through investigations by the Ministry of Justice Prosecutor's Disciplinary Committee and the prosecution, the case was concluded to be acquitted.

What is the atmosphere inside the Airborne Service, which has decided to launch an investigation into former President Yoon? In particular, after it became known that the investigation into former President Yoon was inaugurated, the political arena, "I'm worried that he will give wings to Yoon Seok-yeol" or "Isn't he going to kill Yun Seok-yeol?"

It is said that the 3rd division (Prosecutor Choi Seok-gyu) of the Ministry of Airborne Affairs, who was assigned the case, showed a sign of embarrassment, and Kim Jin-wook, the director of the Airborne Service, was also reported to be somewhat embarrassed and burdened by various media reports


It is presumed that the superficial reason for the investigation department's embarrassment is that there are not enough conditions to investigate.

With insufficient manpower, we are already investigating suspicions related to prosecutor Lee Kyu-won and the leak of the indictment of high prosecutor Lee Seong-yoon.

Most prosecutors dispatched to the Airborne Service will return to the prosecution after their term ends next month (July).

Even if the investigation is difficult under poor conditions, the conclusions that the Ministry of Public Safety and Security can draw on the investigation of former President Yoon are unfortunately burdensome.

① Yoon Seok-yeol is prosecuted.

② Yoon Seok-yeol is not prosecuted (not charged).

③ Do not draw conclusions before the election.

Whatever the outcome, it is the responsibility of Director Kim Jin-wook, who made the final decision to start the investigation, regarding the aftermath of the storm.

This is the reason why the words that Director Kim Jin-wook feels embarrassed and burdened are coming from inside and outside the Airborne Service.

Even though the investigation has only started, there are different interpretations as to the background of 'the Ministry of Airlift and Security's investigation into former President Yoon, who is emerging as a powerful presidential candidate'.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Airborne Affairs declined to comment, saying, “There are only cases in the process of handling the accusation.” However, in a situation where the investigations of the investigative agency are intertwined with the political situation, the Ministry of Airborne Affairs is trying to dispel political controversies. It seems that we have come to a point where we need to explain something about it.

Kim Jin-wook "It's a problem not to investigate because the election is imminent"

“It is not in line with justice to not conduct all investigations uniformly as the election is imminent,”

said Kim Jin-wook, head of the Airborne Department, at the Kwanhoon Forum held at the Korea Press Center at 10 am on February 25th.

Director Kim's remarks were made four months ago, and I introduce it because it is a passage that can be guessed by delaying the background of the Ministry of Airlift and Security's recent investigation into Yoon and Kim's thoughts on the investigation of former President Yoon.

How Kim came up with the above statement is as follows.

<Contents of the Kwanhoon Forum>

Question: In particular, as the presidential election is approaching this year, the political parties of the opposition and opposition parties will react sensitively by adjusting the gain and loss according to the target and results of the investigation by the Ministry of Airborne Affairs. I wonder if you are

Jinwook Kim: One thing I would like to say is that elections are probably the thing that the political parties are most interested in.

Also, isn't there something that might affect the election? So, before the election, I think that the Ministry of Airborne Affairs should avoid events that could affect the election, thereby causing the neutrality controversy.

(omitted) …

Investigating and announcing cases that can be investigated after the election before the election, and thus trying to influence the election, may be the most questionable case of political neutrality.

I'll tell you that.

As another questioner continues with specific questions by narrowing the category from 'the presidential election' to 'the timing of the investigation of presidential candidates', the nuance of Kim's answer changes slightly.

Additional questions directly following the conversation above and the answers from Director Kim.

Q: Then, there is a possibility that a high-ranking official will come out in the presidential election in March next year. Does this mean that the Ministry of Airborne Affairs will postpone it until after the election?

Kim Jin-wook: Whether it is a time far away from the time of the election, and then what kind of charge the crime is, whether it is a very serious charge, or whether it is still relatively serious is a crime related to the position and authority as a public official, and it is a crime to enter a larger high-ranking office. Is it unacceptable for the sake of justice, whether this is the case, or if the crime has nothing to do with it and is not a very serious crime...


It seems that it is a problem that needs to be considered by carrying out various sentences.

All investigations are not conducted uniformly as soon as an election is imminent.

Again, this doesn't seem to meet the demands of justice.

By looking at the answers provided by Director Kim on the forum, you can gauge to some extent the standards for initiating investigations that the Ministry of Airlift and Airborne Affairs has about the likely presidential candidates.

In some ways, this is a very obvious statement, but in light of Director Kim's answer,

it can be summarized into two categories:

▲'the timing of the election' and ▲'the seriousness of the allegations


Although it seems to be an issue that needs to be considered by comparing various circumstances, Director Kim seems to have his own standards, although he made a vague mention in the middle.

After reviewing the records for the past three or four months, the prosecutor in charge of the analysis and investigation of the Air Airborne Service Department finally concluded that it is okay to start the investigation of former President Yoon, which is not the same as the passive explanation of some officials of the Air Airborne Service that "they have only been procedurally charged." It is somewhat distant.

Judging from the remarks of Director Kim Jin-wook four months ago, it is estimated that Director Kim must have judged that the investigation of former President Yoon met the above two criteria (▲ the time of the election and ▲ the severity of the allegations) nine months before the presidential election. .

Sensitive incidents are piling up...

Jinwook Kim, will you reveal your position soon?

Sensitive incidents that can be linked to politics, including the suspicion of former President Yoon, are accumulating in the Airborne Service. Recently, we have also launched an investigation aimed at the 'lobbying of political relations related to preferential treatment for LCT licensing' that emerged in 2016. The purpose is to look into whether 13 prosecutors, including the then deputy chief prosecutor Yoon Dae-jin, did the investigation properly. Including this L-city allegation, the case number has already been assigned up to '2021 Deduction No. 9'.

Among the employees of the Airlift, there are self-helpful jokes that come and go, saying, “Cases keep coming in, no one is there, will you be able to handle it?” Regarding the initiation of an investigation against former President Yoon, "It's a case that has already been acquitted, but without new evidence, the investigation seems difficult", "It doesn't mean that it must be prosecuted, it's a sensitive case, so let's get it out quickly", "It ends with a dragon." Isn't it?" is a response from inside the air defense agency. One of the goals of an investigation is to prove guilt by going to trial. From this point of view, a rather pessimistic outlook continues.

Instead of instructing the spokesperson's office, which is not an investigative person to receive only limited information, to repeatedly send out only the principled statement, "I can't confirm anything," the commanders such as Director Kim Jin-wook and Deputy Director Yeo Woon-guk It is necessary to fully listen to the public opinion and external opinions within the organization of the Air Traffic Control Agency, and to explain a certain part within the scope that does not go against the public announcement of the facts of the suspect in the media.

“If the authority of the Airborne Service is given by the sovereign people, it is natural for the Airborne Service to always remember and reflect on this fact and exercise its authority. I would like to call this exercise of authority reflective exercise. I will always humbly exercise my powers in moderation in front of the people who have entrusted me with the power of instant noodles. You will always look back to see if it was a decision you followed, and you will never become an arrogant power in front of the sovereign people."

-<January Inauguration Address by Kim Jin-wook, Minister of Air Transport> -

Director Kim emphasized the 'exercise of reflective authority' in his inaugural address.

It is read as emphasizing the restraint and strict exercise of the investigation authority of the Airborne Service.

It is interpreted as meaning that the prosecution and police will not repeat the past mistakes.

However, it does not seem to be any different from the airborne.

We are unable to escape the controversy of 'Roof Sang-ok' and 'Government Guardian'.

As Kim said in his inauguration, it is time to look at whether decisions are being made in line with the public's expectations before making important decisions such as investigation and prosecution, and whether the exercise of the investigative power of the Ministry of Public Safety and Security violates the constitution and conscience. 

(Photo = Yonhap News)