The confirmation hearing for Justice Minister nominee Cho Kuk appears unlikely to be held on schedule, with the ruling and opposition parties failing to agree on witnesses who will be called to the stand.
Cho Kuk. Yonhap
Cho’s confirmation hearing was scheduled to be held Monday and Tuesday. On Friday, the parliamentary Legislation and Judiciary Committee met to discuss the issue, but the meeting ended within minutes.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party is demanding that members of Cho’s family be called to the stand, but the ruling Democratic Party is resisting the move.
The ruling party says that bringing Cho’s family members as witnesses would result in their being interrogated as criminals, and the confirmation hearing would lose focus.
The main opposition, for its part, argues that Cho’s family members must be questioned, as they are at the center of many of the allegations facing Cho.
With the parties failing to agree on the witnesses, Liberty Korea Party Floor Leader Rep. Na Kyung-won has warned that the hearing could be delayed.
Since Cho was nominated for the post, the main opposition and media outlets have raised a series of allegations ranging from irregularities involving the Cho family’s business and investment dealings to doubts surrounding Cho’s daughter.
It has been alleged that Cho’s daughter was unfairly given scholarships at a medical school and that she was unjustly included as one of the authors of an academic paper while she was still in high school.
The allegations have prompted the prosecution to launch a sweeping investigation.
The investigation, reportedly backed by Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, has been met with fierce criticism from the ruling party. Some in the ruling party have accused the prosecution of attempting to use the investigation to hamper the Moon Jae-in administration’s drive to reform the prosecutors’ office.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)