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Member since: Sat Mar 14, 2009, 09:45 PM
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The Kim Hak-eui scandal and the "illegal ban" of his attempted flight from South Korea.

Kim Hak-eui ascended to the position of vice minister of justice during the Park Geun-hye administration. He was only in office for a few days when he had to resign because of accusations that he had earlier engaged in a course of conduct of sexual debauchery and accepting bribes in the form of sexual favors. During the Park administration, prosecutors nolle prossed ( 무혐의 ) the charges on two occasions.* They said Kim denied being in the video and the victim's specific identity couldn't be determined in a sex video recorded in a luxury country villa in Wonju. Charges of accepting bribes were also dimissed by prosecutors. One victim claimed that she and others had been drugged and raped repeatedly by Kim Hak-eui and another man at the villa. Another female victim allegedly committed suicide. The victim only identified as "Lee" claimed she was physically threatened to not disclose the incidents. She also claimed that the other male defendant threatened to publish the sex videos if she acted up.

* 김학의 별장 성접대 사건, https://namu.wiki, downloaded 2.26.2021

Police believed the evidence was sufficient when they made the referrals to the prosecutors office. Ms. Lee's attorney filed a formal criminal complaint which was basically ignored by prosecutors according to one press observer. At some point it was alleged that another victim prompting the second prosecution determination in 2015 accepted financial support from the suspect bribing Kim Hak-eui and the charges of all victims were thereby discounted by prosecutors and generally discredited in the press. Allegedly, Kim's home and accounts were never searched by prosecutors during the 2013 to 2015 investigations. In 2019, the case was investigated again, and on May 16, 2019, Kim was arrested. At the first trial Kim was found not guilty and the case went up on appeal for rehearing. In October 2020, at the appellate court hearing, Kim was found guilty, and given a prison sentence of two and half years, for accepting different bribes during a later period. The appellate court ruled the statute of limitations had passed on the earlier crimes of receiving bribes and sexual favors.

Before his arrest in 2019, Kim Hak-eui attempted to flee from South Korea to Thailand. This came to the attention of a team of investigators appointed by the Justice Ministry to investigate the earlier prosecution mishandling of the case. Upon discovery of Kim's imminent plan to leave South Korea, a prosecutor assigned to the Justice Ministry team requested that Kim be detained at the airport. According to the supporters of the current Prosecutor General, Yoon Seok-yeol, the travel ban order and detention of Kim at the airport was unlawful because the legal documents prepared were defectively executed and without authority.

This is a version of the events according to the conservative Korea Herald:

Kim had resigned as the vice minister of justice after just six days on the job during the former Park Geun-hye administration in March 2013, due to allegations he had received bribes and sexual favors.

He was acquitted (emphasis added) of bribery charges in 2013 and 2015.

In 2019, under the Moon administration, a reinvestigation into Kim was launched over suspicions he received bribes and sexual favors from businessmen between 2006 and 2011.

On the night of March 22, 2019, Kim was stopped at the gate of a flight bound for Bangkok at Incheon Airport as a prosecutor named Lee Kyu-won in the fact-finding team of the SPO requested from the Justice Ministry an emergency overseas travel ban.*

*Controversial travel ban on ex-vice minister backfires,
By Kim So-hyunPublished : Jan 14, 2021 - 13:52 The Korea Herald, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20210114000731

(Source- YTN News file video rebroadcast 2.24.2021) Lee Seong-ryun, ( 이성윤 ) Chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Branch, Seoul, regarded as the "restraint" on Yoon Seok-yeol has been subpoenaed in an investigation "turnaround," in which he becomes the suspect. ( 이성윤, '피의자 전환' ) Ultimately, Lee could be a candidate for Prosecutor General, the top position now currently held by Yoon Seok-yeol when the latter's term ends.

So, improbably, the Suwon Prosecutors Office, is now currently investigating, Lee Seong-ryun, the Chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, for his alleged role in the "improper" issuance of a prosecutor's order to block the suspect Kim from fleeing South Korea while an investigative process was pending against him. While the conservative press supporters of the current Prosecutor General Yoon Seol-yeol, propagate this narrative of a so called miscarriage of criminal justice, by issuance of the "illegal prohibition" of foreign travel by Kim, there is an ulterior motive behind the investigation.* When Yoon's two year term in office ends this July, Seoul District Chief Lee is very likely to be appointed his successor as Prosecutor General by the Blue House. When this happens, cases currently being investigated by Lee, and other prosecutors assigned to his office are likely to proceed. As a result, in the near future, Yoon and his remaining followers in prosecution offices, will be unable to prevent investigations and indictments of Yoon, relevant subordinate prosecutors, or Yoon's family members from going forward. As in so many other cases, the investigation of Chief Prosecutor Lee is another episode of "civil lawfare in the republic of lawyers."

While it is difficult to keep track of the laundry list of cases which have not yet run up against the statute of limitations, the Channel A News scandal pending against prosecutor Han Dong-hun allegedly involves Yoon. In addition, there is a new so called "mortuary fraud" case involving Yoon's mother in law along with the hospital fraud indictment filed against her last November. There is the Deutsche Motors stock options case against Yoon's wife, which is currently under investigation. Attorney Rim Eun-jeong, ( 임은정 ) a well known critic of the General Prosecutor's Office, has been appointed by the Minister of Justice as a special prosecutor assigned to Lee's office to investigate the political prosecution of former Prime Minister, Han Myeong-suk, which allegedly relied on perjured testimony solicited by prosecutors. Prosecutor General Yoon publicly criticized Rim's appointment and the granting of investigation powers to Rim by the Justice Ministry as "useless."

So the innuendo now disseminated in the conservative Korean media, is that Lee is not a fitting candidate for Prosecutor General, and that someone more to Yoon's liking should be appointed to fill the vacant office after his departure. The media script accompanying the Suwon office's investigation of Lee is criticized by progressives as accurately framing Yoon's desperation, if nothing else. Yoon's upcoming departure is eagerly anticipated by the ruling democratic party. In the view of the Justice Ministry it can't happen soon enough. It is quite unlikely that the Blue House would pick anyone sympathatic to Yoon after all of his political vendettas aimed at sabotaging the democratic Moon administration and the series of prosecution reform initiatives passed by the National Assembly in 2020, and currently being implemented. Incredibly, Yoon is still regarded by conservatives as a viable presidential candidate for the so called People's Power Party in 2022.

* Hol Seu-hyung's 시사건건 youtube channel commentary interpreting these political events. His 2.26 youtube in particular: 너무 초라해진 윤석열의 현재상황. 윤석열의 처참한 말로가 보인다. 이성윤 검찰총장 가즈아.

South Korea: More corruption in the administration of justice

(Source- 타이거행크TV, 2.20 youtube; outtake orig source jtbc news) Prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun: "Yes sexual assault, but the meaning is rape."

In 2015 former prosecutor Jin Dong-kyun, raped junior prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun. The case was apparently thoroughly investigated at the time by the Seoul Southern District Branch Prosecutors Office. Jin was allowed to resign and take a job with a prominent company and the incident was covered up. Early in 2018, Seo appeared on JTBC to complain of her treatment by the male dominated prosecutors office and the handling of her case. In the conservative press, Seo was referred to in derogatory terms such as "gold digger," as her case became public. A task force of women prosecutors was formed in response, which found a detailed investigation report of the incident had already been accomplished in 2015. They proceeded to indict former prosecutor Jin. Jin's second trial, confirmed his guilt of "sexual assault." His sentence of only 10 months was confirmed. The court placed him in confinement. The victim Seo has maintained consistently, that the crime is rape, and not a lesser offense.

(Source- 타이거행크TV, 2.20 youtube) Jin Hyung-ku, former prosecutor and defendant's father, (left); the defendant Jin Dong-kyun (center); and (right) Han Dong-hun, ( a close associate of Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol), who is currently under investigation for misconduct in the so called Channel A News scandal.

One would expect that a forcible sexual crime by a senior in an employment context, committed against a subordinate would get more serious punishment. The endemic problem among the "silver spoon" class of attorneys in South Korea, is the notion that they are above the law, and entitled to the perquisites of their rank. Sex discrimination and sex crimes are just another category of corruption and immorality in the so called "republic of lawyers." Prosecutors and many of their of their colleagues, stand along with their judicial, media, and chaebol partners above the law, decades after the putative demise of authoritarian government in South Korea. The conservative mainstream media in South Korea has given little attention to this trial outcome according to the source. The report alleges this is because former prosecutor Jin Dong-kyun's wife is Han Dong-hun's sister. This according to critics makes the defendant part of Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol's "royal family."

(Source- 타이거행크TV, 2.20 youtube) Attorney Kim Jae-ryun (center) calls for democratic candidate for mayor of Seoul, Woo Sang-ho, to retire from the race because he said that Park Won-soon was a "role model."

The right wing faction of the Me Too movement in South Korean nominally led by private attorney Kim Jae-hyun, has been, not unexpectedly, silent about the sexual violence cover-up by the Yoon faction in the justice world while renewing their proxy campaign against the deceased Mayor Park Won-soon as a form of noise jamming. This faction of the Me Too movement representing conservative elements, is the proxy for the Gook Min eui Him Dang's Na Kyung-won, who is a candidate for Mayor of Seoul. Na Kyung-won also called for the democratic mayoral candidate Woo Sang-ho to withdraw from the race because of positive statements about deceased Mayor Park. Kim Jae-ryun had accused the former Mayor Park of sexual assault and sexual abuse of his secretary while in office. No official investigation has found any wrongdoing by former Mayor Park.* Na tries to portray herself as the women and families' candidate as she literally has nothing to offer otherwise as the corrupt scion of authoritarian aristocrats from the days of dictatorship. She is a former judge, and her husband is currently a sitting judge who allegedly has stalled and diverted criminal complaints against Yoon's family. Prosecutors recently nolle prossed criminal cases against Na, otherwise she may have been rendered ineligible for office. Na failed at re-election to the National Assembly in April 2020, in large part because of her coordination of brawls and sit ins at the National Assembly designed to block legislation to reform administration of criminal justice in South Korea.

*Deceased Mayor Park Won-soon- Trial by Media in South Korea, Sept. 14, 2020; https://civilizationdiscontents.blogspot.com/2020/09/deceased-mayor-park-won-soon-trial-by.html

South Korea: Civil "lawfare" continues in the Administration of Justice

President Moon Jae-in appointed Park Beom-gye as his nominee for Justice Minister after the disciplary debacle concerning Yoon Seok-yeol's unprofessional conduct as Prosecutor General of South Korea resulted in the resignation of former Justice Minister Chu Mi-ae. The democratic Justice Minister that President Moon appointed previous to Chu Mi-ae, resigned as a result of charges brought against his wife, and himself in 2019. So the unflappable Prosecutor General Yoon remains in office, with the help of judicial cronies, the conservative media, and the so called corrupt special interests in South Korea. A new adversary arises to take him on.

Yoon met with the new justice minister at a "neutral location." Apparently they met to discuss pending personnel changes in prosecution offices which are controlled by the Ministry of Justice. Ostensibly, the Prosecutor General's office is subordinate to the Justice Minister, but you'd never know it. Yoon brought charges against former Justice Minister Cho-guk's family almost immediately after Cho's appointment, allegedly with little or no prior investigation. Therefore the trials against Cho and his wife dragged on for almost a year and a half and are far from over. Cho's wife was recently sentenced to four years in prison for allegedly submitting false documents in support of her daughter's college admission years ago, using inside information illegally in a personal investment, and concealing evidence. Many observers regard certain aspects of the case against Cho's wife as completely fabricated. This while the Samsung heir, Lee Jae-yong, convicted of bribing Choi Son-sil, former President Park's aide and shaman, to the tune of a few million dollars, (to help secure control of Samsung) recently received a two and a half year sentence. The other millions Lee spent on buying Park Blue House influence, were held to be a legitmate corporate "sponsorship" upon review.

After filing disciplinary charges against Yoon, former Justice Minister Chu found herself subject to allegations of misconduct in the conservative mainstream media controlled by Yoon's close friends. She was accused of getting her son special treatment from the Army after he was injured in training which rendered him unfit for unlimited service. Nevertheless, Chu doggedly pursued reforms of the prosecutor's office and the establishement of a corruption office for high government officials independent of the prosecutor's offices. She propelled a disciplinary proceeding against Yoon which resulted in a disappointing administrative sanction of two months suspension from office, for acting with political bias in office, and conducting illegal investigations on sitting judges. An administrative court reversed the decision saying that the disciplinary board did not have a quorum because some members recused themselves for potential conflicts after the board convened. Chu then tendered her resignation.

Which brings us to the current Justice Minister Park Beom-gye. Park and Yoon met on February 5. The picture below is regarded as evidence of Yoon's insubordinate attitude and disrespect for his nominal superior the Minister of Justice.

(Source- 뉴스반장 2.5.2021) Again Yoon's revenge theater begins..."Investigate Justice Minister Park Beom-gye!" Same pattern, same objective. "There is one target, block prosecutorial reforms!" This time is the third time already.

Yoon (left) sits directly opposite Park, in a challenging disrespectful pose, with suit open, stomach hanging out and legs spread.

Accounts of the Yoon-Park dialogue suggest that Yoon desired to have Seoul Central District Prosecution Branch Chief, Lee Seong-yoon, transferred or promoted out of his current position. Lee's office is responsible for supervision of the so called "press-prosecution collusion" scandal in which Channel A News reporter, Lee Dong-jae, and prosecutor, Han Dong-hun, were involved. Han Dong-hun's Iphone was seized under a warrant, after it was reported that the Channel A News reporter had communicated with an imprisoned witness and his agent soliciting perjured testimony against Yoo Shi-min, a former minister of the No Mu-hyun administration and the director of the No Mu-hyun foundation, a progressive political institution. Yoo Shi-min is a prominent critic of the right and supporter of reforms in the administration of justice in South Korea.

So far, Lee's forensic team was unable to crack the security key on Prosecutor Han's Iphone. Allegedly, it's operating system was updated after South Korea had obtained the requisite software to decypher the digital lock. There has been pressure from the Prosecutor General's office and the conservative media to drop the case for lack of evidence, but there was a political and public backlash, after it was disclosed that a new software would be forthcoming to obtain the forensic key. Interestly enough, it is said that there are 2700 contacts of one sort or another between Prosecutor Han, Yoon Seok-yeol, and Kim Geon-hee, (Yoon's wife) recorded on Han's Iphone. It is conceivable that this may be a breakthrough that will ultimately bring down Yoon's network of corruption which extends into the judiciary, the media, and the corporate sector. Yoon's request to Justice Minister Park also called for the reinstatement of Han Dong-hun as a front line prosecutor. Yoon's request in that respect was also denied. Lee Seong-yoon is regarded as the agent of the Ministry of Justice inside the prosecutor's offices by Yoon and his followers.

(Source- 뉴스반장 2.5.2021) (left) Lee Seong-yoon, Seoul Central District Prosecution Branch Chief; (right) Han Dong-hun, currently in a holding pattern in the Prosecution research facility.

After Yoon's most critical requests were disregarded by Justice Minister Park, the Taejon District Branch Prosecutors Office, know to be close with Yoon, unexpectedly (sic) announced it was commencing an investigation of Minister Park's holdings in the Myeong Kyeong law firm of which Park was a founding member in 2012. It is alleged that Park retained a proprietary interest in the firm after assuming public office in the 19th National Assembly and derived large profits from his holdings in violation of government ethics laws. Park has stated the charges are false, that he has had no income from the firm while in office and that his actions are in compliance with government ethics rules. The source cited above, reported that Park gave up his current interest in the firm January 14. The Taejon District Office is also conducting an investigation against the Moon administration, particularly the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, allegedly for fabricating economic evidence that supported the decision to close the Wolseong Nuclear Reactor No. One.

Associated with the alleged improper Wolseong Nuclear Reactor shutdown charges is the absurdly incongruous and misplaced accusation that documents were destroyed within the agency or its subordinate departments which showed that the administration intended to deliver nuclear reactor parts to North Korea. So the goal here is actually a frontal assualt on the Moon administration. One critic has pointed out that there had been international plans to build reactors in North Korea, supported by previous administrations during the so called Agreed Framework and Six Party Talks days. So these charges fit into the ridiculous conservative assertion that President Moon "is a secret North Korean agent for Kim Jong-un." This accusation was disclosed by People's Power Party leader, Kim Jong-in. As a side note, after left of center candidates for office in the Pusan run off election proposed building a sorely needed new international airport for the city of Pusan, the same Kim Jong-in, not to be outdone, made the absurd proposal of building a tunnel to Japan from Pusan. In another absurd development on the conservative side, the shape shifting Na Kyung-won, a trusted ally of Yoon Seok-yeol running for mayor of Seoul, proposed bonuses totalling approximately one million dollars for any couple forming a household after marriage and having at least one child. Charges pending against Na for corruption were recently nolle prossed by prosecutors.

I have two previous articles posted on this blog on the press prosecution collusion scandal involving prosecutor Han and reporter Lee Dong-jae:

1) South Korea's Press-Prosecution Collusion Scandal: the audio transcript, JULY 23, 2020

2) Seoul Judge Cancels Lee Dong-jae Search Warrant, July 26, 2020.

The blog has over a dozen other articles on Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-yeol and the political corruption in the administration of justice in South Korea posted since March 2020.

The blog has one post on the leaky nuclear facilities at Wolseong. South Korea: Nuclear Contamination detected in underground water at Wolseong Nuclear Power site, Jan. 8, 2021.

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