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Gov't eyes enhanced public defender system: Moon advisory panel

2017/06/19 15:39

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SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's policy advisory panel said Monday that the government will seek to introduce an enhanced public defender system to offer legal aid to low-income citizens in criminal cases starting in the investigation phase.

The move is in line with Moon's pledge to strengthen the protection of citizens' human rights.

Park Kwang-on, the spokesman for the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee, said that it will seek to review how to enforce it this year, complete its legislation next year and phase it in from 2019.

Under the current system, state-hired attorneys offer legal counsel to destitute criminal suspects only from the trial process.

"There is a need to ensure that there are no human rights abuses, such as torture or coerced confessions, or illegal inquiries from the investigation phase, so as to protect the suspects' human rights," Park told reporters.

This photo, taken June 4, 2017, shows Park Kwang-on, the spokesman for the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee, speaking during a press conference at its office in Seoul. (Yonhap) This photo, taken June 4, 2017, shows Park Kwang-on, the spokesman for the State Affairs Planning Advisory Committee, speaking during a press conference at its office in Seoul. (Yonhap)

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