Assembly Committee Passes Independent Counsel Bill

The National Assembly's Legislation and Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed a bill aimed at establishing an independent counsel to probe the Choi Soon-sil scandal.

At a full session, the committee approved the bill signed by 209 ruling and opposition lawmakers and referred it to a plenary session.

Under the bill, the president will appoint the independent counsel among two candidates that will be recommended by the main opposition Democratic Party and minor opposition People's Party.

The special probe team will consist of one independent counsel, 20 prosecutors and 40 investigators. The team will prepare for its probe for 20 days from the day the counsel is appointed. Then for the next 70 days, the team will wrap up investigations and decide whether or not to seek indictments.

The team can extend its probe once by up to 30 days if approved by the president.

Source: KBS World Radio