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S. Korea lead prosecutor resigns

Published By United Press International
SEOUL, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- South Korea's top prosecutor resigned Friday after senior prosecutors ignored his instructions following a string of scandals within the investigative body.

Prosecutor General Han Sang-dae offered his resignation Friday during a news conference, saying he would step aside so a successor could oversee reforms in the office, Yonhap News Agency reported.

"As the prosecutor general, I offer my apology to the people for a huge shock and disappointment," Han said.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has accepted Han's resignation, saying the prosecution "needs a self-reflection."

A group of top prosecutors in Seoul Thursday demanded Han's resignation, asking him to take responsibility for several scandals, including bribery and sexual misconduct involving sitting prosecutors.

Deputy Prosecutor Chae Dong-wook will handle Han's duties until a new lead prosecutor is named.

Han resigned after he canceled plans to announce a package of reform measures for the office and how it operates, Yonhap said.

Han's three-year term was to end in 2014. He is the 11th chief prosecutor to resign before completing the three-year tenure. His predecessor, Kim Joon-gyu, stepped down in July 2011 to protest parliamentary approval of a bill limiting the office's investigatory power.

Justice Minister Kwon Jae-jin also apologized Friday for the incidents that eventually led to Han's resignation.

"As the justice minister who commands the prosecution, I feel deeply responsible and offer my apology," Kwon said in a statement.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa