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Sat Jul 25, 2020, 12:11 AM

South Korea: When the Crow Flies, a Pear Falls from the Tree

Last edited Sat Jul 25, 2020, 01:23 AM - Edit history (1)

These are the last few paragraphs to my most recent write up about the press-prosecution collusion scandal in South Korea. This is a power struggle playing out in the courts and media which I've been interpreting for a few months.    It's almost a watergate gate type meltdown, with a discussion of the audiofiles now dominating the headlines.  It's difficult to keep up with all the developments which will determine the future of South Korea.   If you are interested in the details about the audiofiles and the so called Channel A News case of press prosecution corruption see:

South Korea's Press-Prosecution Collusion Scandal: the audio transcript July 23

.....There are several other cases in the queue of suspected prosecution-press collusion aimed at high profile democratic politicians who have been either been investigated, indicted or convicted to remove them from the political scene. The pending trials, of the former Justice Minister Cho Guk and his wife; the current governor of Kyeongkido, Lee Jae-myeong (acquitted last week); and the former Prime Minister Han Myung-sook (who was convicted on false testimony and served her sentence) are part of this pattern. There are others. The significance of the Yoo Shi-min Channel A News case is that it presents an immediate investigative challenge to the Prosecutor General's Office. It is a first attempt by the Democratic administration to get some oversight over a prosecution process that appears to have gone wild. Some critics say the unchecked abuse of power by Prosecutor General Yoon represents the final legacy of right wing authoritarian rule in South Korea. Lee Jae-myeong was a potential candidate for presidential office after President Moon's term ends. The prominent and charismatic former Justice Minister Cho Guk was also a political threat to the vested chaebol interests.

Addendum 7.24

YTN News now reports that there were additional phone calls made by Lee Dong-jae to Han Dong-hun on 3.18 and 3.20 which correspond to the timing of meetings with the "informant." It is plain for all but those who refuse to see, that Prosecutor Han Dong-hun was "outsourcing" an unethical investigation to reporters at Channel A News. Channel A denies the allegations but will not comment on the grounds for disciplining other staff at the time Lee Dong-jae was fired. To make matters worse a former Justice Minister has disclosed that he learned that Yoon Seok-yeol had a secret meeting with the CEO of Chosun Ilbo while that powerful conservative media organization was subject to several lawsuits from labor and public interest groups, and one criminal investigation into the CEO's son for embezzlement and breach of trust. Yoon's office refuses to confirm the allegation. The legal analyst made reference to a Chinese proverb, "When the crow flies, a pear falls."*

*烏飛梨落. 오비이락 When the crow flies a pear falls from the tree. A strange coincidence arouses suspicion. Naver.com

Is all this correlation of evidence proof of guilt? The analyst said that he felt the legal committee of senior lawyers Yoon had established to consider the evidence against prosecutor Han, and former reporter Lee, would probably avoid a hasty decision, and await the development of further evidence to confirm the circumstantial coincidences in the evidence thus far. The decision of the ad hoc committee to consider evidence in the case and then vote on whether the investigation should proceed or whether indictments should be preferred, is completely without authority in the view of the Ministry of Justice. Other observers have commented that it is a trick to allow the media and Prosecutor General to save face by trying the press prosecution collusion cases in the media. The investigating team of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office was granted the authority to conduct a completely independent investigation without interference from Prosecutor Yoon's office because of conflict of interest. Yoon continues to ignore Justice Minister Chu's orders.

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