Photo: Seoul Administrative Court. Credit: Judiciary of the Republic of Korea.
The Seoul Administrative Court 서울행정법원 found that the Justice Ministry 법무부’s suspension of Yun Seok-yeol 윤석열 from his Supreme Prosecutor 검찰총장 post was justified, undermining Yun’s claim that the Ministry unfairly targeted him.
On October 14, the court rejected Yun’s petition to void his two-month suspension from November 2020, the first time in South Korean history in which the Justice Minister suspended the sitting Supreme Prosecutor. The suspension was the high point in the internal battle for prosecution reform between the Justice Ministry and the Public Prosecutors’ Office 검찰청, after which Yun launched his presidential run. (See previous coverage, “Justice Ministry Suspends Yun.”)
The Ministry had suspended Yun for illegal surveillance of judges assigned to major cases, obstruction of internal investigation against his closest subordinates, and failure to maintain political neutrality. The court found the suspension was correctly assessed, noting that a two-month suspension was light considering that Yun’s infringements were serious enough for a termination.
Choo Mi-ae 추미애, the Justice Minister who suspended Yun, said the judgment was "better late than never," adding Yun should "withdraw from the presidential race and retire from politics."