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Lee Jae-myeong, Democratic Party leader, First Trial for Violation of Election Act | Resignation of Chief Judge Kang Gyu-tae – Judicial Manipulation?

Lee Jae-myeong, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, is attending the first trial for violations of the Public Official Election Act held at the Seoul Central District Court on the morning of the 22nd. 2023.12.22/News 1

Chief Judge Kang Gyu-tae of the 34th Criminal Division of the Seoul Central District Court, who presides over Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myeong’s election law violation case, is said to have submitted his resignation ahead of the regular appointment of judges next month. The trial in this case dragged on for 16 months and he resigned without even being sentenced. For election law violation cases, the law stipulates that the first trial be completed within 6 months to ensure a speedy trial. Chief Judge Kang has already been violating the law for 10 months. If he had any sense of responsibility or conscience as a judge, he should have passed the sentence even if it was late. However, he resigned without even completing the trial, let alone sentencing. It is rare for a judge in an important case to show such irresponsible behavior.

The case is not complicated. In this case, during the last presidential election, Representative Lee was indicted on charges of publishing false facts by saying that he did not know the key workers in Daejang-dong and that the development of Baekhyeon-dong was carried out through threats from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Everything has been revealed, including the fact that CEO Lee went on a foreign trip and played golf with a Daejangdong practitioner who he said he did not know about. This is not a trial that will take a long time. However, Chief Judge Kang proceeded with the trial preparation process to organize the issues of the case for six months prior to the formal trial, and from the beginning set trial dates ‘once every two weeks’. After August of last year, the trial was postponed for more than two months due to Representative Lee’s fasting. In October last year, the prosecution’s request to “consider trial once a week” was not accepted. If sentencing, there is no choice but to find Representative Lee guilty, so it is highly likely that he did not want to sentence from the beginning.

A more serious problem is that, along with Chief Judge Kang, the two associate judges of this court are likely to be replaced next month. This is due to the court’s internal regulations, in which the presiding judge of the criminal settlement division is usually replaced every two years, and the assigned judge is replaced every year. In important case trials, events that occurred during the trial and nuances of statements also affect the judge’s judgment of guilt or innocence. However, if the entire court is changed, this process will be cut off and the number of trials will increase. This in itself is injustice. Looking at the progress of the trial in this case, this goes beyond injustice and amounts to judicial manipulation and judicial manipulation.

There is a possibility that more incidents like this will happen in the future. The court that is judging private businesses in Daejang-dong is also subject to replacement next month, and the presiding judge in Representative Lee’s Daejang-dong and Baekhyeon-dong corruption case is also subject to replacement in February next year. In the Daejang-dong and Baekhyeon-dong corruption cases, there are hundreds of investigation records, so many predict that a sentencing may be difficult until February next year. Then, these judges can also leave without making a sentence. ‘Bomb passing’, where judges only pretend to judge and then pass the sentence on to their successors, can occur everywhere. Measures must be taken at the Supreme Court level, such as changing the court’s internal regulations and appointing judges specializing in criminal matters.

The judge in charge of reviewing Representative Lee’s arrest warrant dismissed the warrant. The warrant may be dismissed. However, the logic and legal principles must be clear. However, the legal principles he presented made people wonder. About 20 people involved in this representative case were arrested, but it was difficult to understand that their own warrants were actually dismissed. Then, this time, the presiding judge in the case of publishing false facts, which anyone with common sense can judge, resigned before the sentencing and seemed to run away. Now, Representative Lee’s side is using every means possible to play with the judicial system in an attempt to delay the trial. Judge Kang Gyu-tae cannot help but be seen as participating in this judicial joke.

2024-01-09 18:16:00
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