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ACT ON THE APPOINTMENT, ETC. OF INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR

Act No. 12423, Mar. 18, 2014

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to prescribe matters necessary for the appointment and duties, etc. of a special prosecutor who has an independent status within the scope of a specific case in the investigation of crimes, institution of public prosecutions, etc.
CHAPTER II CASES SUBJECT TO INVESTIGATION BY, AND APPOINTMENT OF, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
 Article 2 (Cases subject to Investigation by Special Prosecutor, etc.)
(1) Cases subject to investigation by a special prosecutor shall be as follows:
1. A case resolved by the plenary session of the National Assembly as requiring the investigation of a special prosecutor for reasons of political neutrality, impartiality, etc.;
2. A case determined by the Minister of Justice as requiring the investigation of a special prosecutor due to a conflict of interest, partiality, etc.
(2) In cases falling under paragraph (1) 2, the Minister of Justice shall hear the opinion of the Prosecutor General.
 Article 3 (Procedure for Appointment of Special Prosecutors)
(1) Where any investigation is determined to be conducted by a special prosecutor under Article 2, the President shall request without delay the Special Prosecutor Recommendation Committee organized under Article 4, to recommend two candidates for special prosecutor.
(2) Within five days from the date of receipt of a request under paragraph (1), the Special Prosecutor Recommendation Committee shall, after obtaining the consent of a majority of all its incumbent members, recommend in writing two candidates to the President, from among lawyers who have served in positions prescribed in Article 42 (1) 1 of the Court Organization Act for not less than 15 years.
(3) The President shall appoint one special prosecutor from among recommended candidates within three years from the date of receipt of a recommendation under paragraph (2).
 Article 4 (Special Prosecutor Recommendation Committee)
(1) The Special Prosecutor Recommendation Committee (hereafter referred to as the "Recommendation Committee" in this Article) shall be established in the National Assembly to recommend candidates for special prosecutor.
(2) The Recommendation Committee shall be comprised of seven members, including one chairperson.
(3) The chairperson shall be elected from among the members referred to in paragraph (4).
(4) Members shall be appointed or commissioned by the Speaker of the National Assembly from among any of the following persons:
1. Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice;
2. Chief of the Office of Court Administration;
3. President of the Korean Bar Association;
4. Four other persons recommended by the National Assembly as having knowledge, moral influence, and abundant experience in respective professional fields.
(5) The Recommendation Committee shall be convened by the chairperson, when requested by the Speaker of the National Assembly or by at least one third of its members, or when deemed necessary by the chairperson, and the resolutions thereof shall require the consent of a majority of all its incumbent members.
(6) Upon recommendation of candidates for a special prosecutor under Article 3 (2), the relevant Recommendation Committee shall be deemed dissolved.
(7) Members of the Recommendation Committee shall maintain political neutrality and perform their duties independently.
(8) Other necessary matters for the organization, operation, etc. of the Recommendation Committee shall be prescribed by the National Assembly Regulations.
 Article 5 (Disqualifications for Special Prosecutor)
None of the following persons shall be a special prosecutor:
1. A person who is not a citizen of the Republic of Korea;
3. A person who has served in a position referred to in subparagraph 2 within one year before the date of appointment of a special prosecutor;
4. A person who affiliates himself/herself with a party or has affiliated himself/herself to a party within one year before the date of appointment of a special prosecutor;
5. A person registered as a candidate (including a backup candidate) in an election to be held under the Public Official Election Act;
6. A person who falls under any subparagraph of Article 33 of the State Public Officials Act.
 Article 6 (Political Neutrality of, and Independence in Performing Duties of, Special Prosecutors)
A special prosecutor shall maintain political neutrality and perform his/her duties independently.
CHAPTER III AUTHORITY AND OBLIGATIONS OF SPECIAL PROSECUTORS
 Article 7 (Scope of Duties, Authority, etc. of Special Prosecutors)
(1) The scope of duties of a special prosecutor shall be as follows:
1. Investigation of a case described in the written recommendation for the appointment of a special prosecutor under Article 3 (hereinafter referred to as "assigned case"), determination of whether to institute a public prosecution, and the maintenance of public prosecution;
2. Direction and supervision of assistant special prosecutors, special investigators, and pubic officials dispatched from related institutions under Article 8.
(2) No special prosecutor shall summon or investigate a person unrelated to the assigned case beyond the scope of his/her duties.
(3) Where necessary for the performance of his/her duties, a special prosecutor may request cooperation from the heads of related agencies, including the Supreme Prosecutors' Office and the National Police Agency for submission of data, such as investigative records and evidence of cases related to the assigned case, and assistance in investigative activities.
(4) A special prosecutor may, when necessary to perform his/her duties, request the heads of related agencies, including the Supreme Prosecutors' Office and the National Police Agency, for dispatch service of public officials under their control and the support related thereto: Provided, That the number of dispatched prosecutors shall not exceed five persons and that of the dispatched public officials excluding dispatched prosecutors shall not exceed thirty persons.
(5) The heads of related agencies in receipt of the request under paragraphs (3) and (4) shall comply with such request, except in special circumstances: Provided, That in requesting the dispatch of any specific prosecutors or public officials, the special prosecutor shall consult with the relevant agencies in advance.
(6) Where any head of a related agency declines a request referred to in the main sentence of paragraph (5) without justifiable grounds, the special prosecutor may request the person holding the right to request resolution for a disciplinary action to commence the procedure for a disciplinary action against the head of the relevant agency.
(7) Provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act, the Prosecutors' Office Act, the Military Court Act and other Acts and subordinates statutes pertaining to the authority of a prosecutor or military prosecutor shall apply mutatis mutandis to a special prosecutor unless they conflict with the provisions of this Act.
 Article 8 (Appointment and Authorities of Assistant Special Prosecutors and Special Investigators)
(1) A special prosecutor shall select four candidates for assistant special prosecutors from among lawyers who have served in positions prescribed in Article 42 (1) 1 of the Court Organization Act for not less than seven years and request the President to appoint assistant special prosecutors: In such cases, the President shall appoint two assistant special prosecutors from among the candidates, within three days from the date of receipt of such request.
(2) Assistant special prosecutors shall, in accordance with the direction and supervision of a special prosecutor, take charge of the investigation of the assigned case and the maintenance of public prosecution of the prosecuted case, and shall direct and supervise special investigators and public officials dispatched from related agencies.
(3) A special prosecutor may, when it is necessary to perform his/her duties, appoint not more than 30 special investigators. In such cases, their service career in related agencies, capability to perform their duties, qualifications, etc. shall be taken into consideration.
(4) Special investigators shall perform the duties of judicial police officers within the scope of the investigation of the assigned case.
(5) Article 5 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the disqualifications for assistant special prosecutors and special investigators, and Article 7 (7) to the authority of assistant special prosecutors.
(6) Where necessary to maintain public prosecution after completing an investigation, the special prosecutor shall maintain the number of persons assisting in his/her duties, including assistant special prosecutors and special investigators, at the minimum required level.
 Article 9 (Obligations of Special Prosecutor, etc.)
(1) No special prosecutor, assistant special prosecutors and special investigators (hereinafter referred to as "special prosecutor, etc."), public officials dispatched under Article 7 (4), and persons employed to assist the special prosecutor in his/her duties, shall divulge any confidential information learned while conducting their duties, during the period of their service or post-retirement.
(2) A special prosecutor, etc. shall not engage in affairs aimed at profit-making or concurrently perform any other duties.
(3) No special prosecutor, etc., public officials dispatched under Article 7 (4), and persons employed to assist the special prosecutor in his/her duties shall announce or divulge the details of investigation without any justifiable reason except for the cases prescribed in Articles 10 (3) and (4), 12 and 17.
(4) Provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act, the Prosecutors' Office Act, the Military Court Act and other Acts and subordinates statutes pertaining to the obligations of a prosecutor shall apply mutatis mutandis to a special prosecutor and assistant special prosecutors, unless they conflict with the provisions of this Act.
CHAPTER IV PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH CASE
 Article 10 (Investigation Period, etc.)
(1) A special prosecutor may prepare for the performance of his/her duties, such as securing facilities necessary for investigation and requesting for appointment of assistant special prosecutors, for 20 days from the date of his/her appointment. He/she shall not investigate the assigned case during this period.
(2) A special prosecutor shall complete the investigation of the assigned case within 60 days from the date immediately following the expiration of the preparation period referred to in paragraph (1) and determine whether to institute a public prosecution.
(3) Where a special prosecutor is unable to complete investigation within the period prescribed in paragraph (2) or it is difficult for him/her to determine whether to institute a public prosecution, he/she shall report the reason therefor to the President and may extend the investigation period only once by 30 days.
(4) The report and request for approval under paragraph (3) shall be made by not later than three days before the expiration of the investigation period, and the President shall notify the special prosecutor of whether he/she approves the extension, before the expiration of the investigation period.
(5) Where a special prosecutor is unable to complete investigation within the investigation period or determine whether to institute a public prosecution, he/she shall transfer the case to the chief public prosecutor of the competent district public prosecutors' office within three days from the expiration date of the investigation period. In such cases, Article 17 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the report on spending of expenses, details of activities, etc., and the initial date in reckoning the period for reporting shall be the date the case is transferred.
 Article 11 (Period of Trial, etc.)
(1) The trial of a case prosecuted by a special prosecutor shall be processed speedily taking precedence over other trials, and the judgment thereon shall be pronounced within six months from the date of institution of the public prosecution at the court of the first instance, and within three months from the respective dates of pronouncement of judgment at the preceding instances of the second and the third instances.
(2) In cases falling under paragraph (1), the period under Articles 361, 361-3 (1) and (3), 377, and 379 (1) and 4 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall be seven days, respectively.
 Article 12 (Reporting on Handling of Cases)
Where it is determined not to prosecute an assigned case, where the case is prosecuted, or where the judgment on the relevant case is final and conclusive, the special prosecutor shall report thereon in writing to the President and the National Assembly and notify the Minister of Justice thereof in writing within ten days, respectively.
CHAPTER V POSITION AND GUARANTEE OF STATUS OF SPECIAL PROSECUTORS
 Article 13 (Remuneration, etc.)
(1) The remuneration and treatment of a special prosecutor shall comply with the examples of the director of a high public prosecutors' office.
(2) The remuneration and treatment of an assistant special prosecutor shall follow the examples of a chief public prosecutor.
(3) The remuneration and treatment of a special investigator shall follow the examples of a public official in special services corresponding to Grades Ⅲ through Ⅴ.
(4) The Government shall pay expenses required for the performance of duties of a special prosecutor, etc. from the reserve fund: Provided, That after prosecuting a case upon completion of investigation, only the minimum expense required to maintain the public prosecution shall be paid until the court judgment is final and conclusive.
(5) A special prosecutor may request the State or public institutions to provide facilities necessary to perform his/her duties, such as offices and communication facilities. In such cases, the institutions in receipt of such request shall comply therewith unless any justifiable reason exists.
 Article 14 (Resignation, etc.)
(1) No special prosecutor shall resign unless any justifiable reason exists; and where he/she intends to resign, he/she shall state such intention in writing.
(2) If a special prosecutor dies or if he/she submits a letter of resignation under paragraph (1), the President shall notify the Speaker of the National Assembly thereof without delay.
(3) If a special prosecutor dies or if he/she submits a letter of resignation under paragraph (1), the President shall appoint a replacement special prosecutor in accordance with the procedure for appointment prescribed in Article 3. In such cases, the succeeding special prosecutor shall succeed to the duties of the former special prosecutor.
(4) Where a succeeding special prosecutor is appointed under paragraph (3), the period of investigation under Article 10 shall be calculated by totaling the periods of investigation used by the former and the succeeding special prosecutors, on condition that the period from the date of submission of a letter of resignation by the special prosecutor until the date of appointment of a replacement special prosecutor shall not be included in the period of investigation.
(5) If an assistant special prosecutor dies or if he/she submits a letter of resignation, the special prosecutor may request the President to appoint a replacement assistant special prosecutor. In such cases, the President shall appoint a succeeding assistant special prosecutor without delay in accordance with Article 8 (1).
(6) When it is determined not to institute a public prosecution or a report is submitted following the finalization of judgment under Article 12, or when the case is transferred under Article 10 (5), the special prosecutor, etc. shall resign ipso facto.
 Article 15 (Dismissal, etc.)
(1) Except in any of the following cases, the President shall not dismiss the special prosecutor or an assistant special prosecutor:
1. Where any ground for disqualification under subparagraphs of Article 5 arises;
2. Where he/she is recognized to have any physical or mental disease that makes him/her remarkably difficult to perform his/her duties;
3. Where he/she violates Article 9 (1) or (2);
4. Where he/she violates any provision on the duties of a public prosecutor which apply mutatis mutandis to a special prosecutor and assistant special prosecutors under Article 9 (4);
5. Where the special prosecutor requests the President to dismiss an assistant special prosecutor as he/she deems it necessary to perform his/her duties or to comply with Article 8 (6).
(2) Upon dismissing a special prosecutor, the President shall notify the Speaker of the National Assembly thereof without delay.
(3) Upon dismissing a special prosecutor, the President shall appoint a succeeding special prosecutor in accordance with the procedure for appointment prescribed in Article 3. In such cases, the latter part of Article 14 (3) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the succession of duties, and Article 14 (4) to the calculation of investigation, respectively.
(4) Upon dismissing an assistant special prosecutor, the President shall appoint a replacement assistant special prosecutor without delay under Article 8 (1): Provided, That the same shall not apply where any assistant special prosecutor is dismissed under paragraph (1) 5 (limited to cases falling under Article 8 (6)).
(5) A special prosecutor may dismiss any special investigator when necessary for the performance of his/her duties or request the replacement of any public official to the head of the agency that has dispatched him/her.
 Article 16 (Guarantee of Status)
No special prosecutor or an assistant special prosecutor shall be removed from office except by impeachment or a sentence of imprisonment without prison labor or heavier punishment.
CHAPTER VI SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
 Article 17 (Financial report, etc.)
Where it is determined not to prosecute the assigned case, or where the judgment on the relevant case is finalized, the special prosecutor shall report the matters concerning the spending of expenses, details of activities, etc. to the President within 10 days and transfer the documents, etc. kept by him/her in connection with his/her duties to the Prosecutor General: Provided, That where a public prosecution has been instituted, he/she shall file an interim report on the matters concerning the spending of expenses, details of activities conducted, etc. until the date of institution of prosecution with the President in writing, within ten days.
 Article 18 (Jurisdiction)
The first instance of the case assigned to a special prosecutor shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of a collegiate division of the Seoul Central District Court.
 Article 19 (Invalidity of Ultra Vires Institution of Public Prosecution)
Where any public prosecution is instituted by a special prosecutor beyond the scope of his/her duties in violation of Article 7 (1), such institution of public prosecution shall be invalid.
 Article 20 (Filing of Appeals)
(1) Where a person subject to investigation of the assigned case, his/her spouse, lineal ascendant or lineal descendant, a person living with him/her, or his/her lawyer may file an appeal with the Seoul High Court against an act conducted by a special prosecutor beyond the scope of his/her duties, including any act violating Article 7 (2).
(2) An appeal under paragraph (1) shall be prepared in writing stating the grounds therefor, and shall be submitted through the special prosecutor.
(3) Upon receipt of an appeal under paragraph (2), the special prosecutor shall handle it according to the following distinction:
1. Where the appeal is deemed grounded, he/she shall make corrections immediately according to the contents of the appeal and notify the Seoul High Court and the person who has filed the appeal thereof in writing;
2. Where the appeal is deemed ungrounded, he/she shall append his/her written opinion to the appeal and send them to the Seoul High Court within 24 hours from receipt of the application.
(4) The Seoul High Court in receipt of an appeal sent under paragraph (3) 2 shall make a decision according to the following distinction within 48 hours from the time the appeal is received. In such cases, the court may conduct investigation of evidence including inspection of investigation record, when necessary:
1. When the appeal is deemed groundless, the appeal shall be dismissed;
2. When the appeal is deemed grounded, it shall be accepted that the contents of the investigation subject to appeal is beyond the scope of duties of the special prosecutor.
(5) Where any decision on acceptance under paragraph (4) 2 is made, the special prosecutor shall not conduct any investigation in conflict with the intent of the relevant decision.
(6) No appeal shall be made against the decision made under paragraph (4).
(7) Notwithstanding the appeal filed under paragraph (1), investigation activities of the special prosecutor shall not be suspended.
(8) A person who files an appeal under paragraph (1) may file an application for full or partial suspension of the validity of the relevant disposition, etc. or the execution or continuation of the proceedings thereof with the Seoul High Court in writing explaining the grounds therefor, at the same time with or separately from the filing of the appeal, and the court shall make a decision thereon without delay.
(9) Upon making a decision under paragraph (4) or (8), the Seoul High Court shall notify it to the person who has filed an appeal and the special prosecutor.
 Article 21 (Delegation)
Other necessary matters concerning the enforcement of this Act which are not prescribed by this Act, such as procedures for handling a case by a special prosecutor, shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree or the National Assembly Regulations.
CHAPTER VII PENAL PROVISIONS
 Article 22 (Penal Provisions)
(1) A person who hinders the performance of duties of a special prosecutor, etc. by fraudulent means or force shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding fifty million won.
(2) A special prosecutor, etc., a public official dispatched under Article 7 (4), or a person employed to assist a special prosecutor in his/her duties who divulges, in violation of Article 9 (3), any confidential information learned while conducting his/her duties shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years or by suspension of qualifications for not more than five years.
(3) A special prosecutor, etc., a public official dispatched under Article 7 (4), or a person employed to assist a special prosecutor in his/her duties who makes public, in violation of Article 9 (3), any confidential information learned while conducting his/her duties before a public prosecution is instituted shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years or by suspension of qualifications for not more than five years.
 Article 23 (Legal Fiction as Public Officials in Application of Penal Provisions)
A special prosecutor, etc. and persons employed to assist a special prosecutor in his/her duties shall be deemed public officials in the application of penal provisions pursuant to the Criminal Act or any other Act.
ADDENDUM
This Act shall enter into force on the date on which three months lapse after the date of promulgation of this Act.