Posted on | februari 6, 2012 | No Comments
SOUTH KOREA: Appeal against a lawyer providing legal assistance should be withdrawn
- Name of victim: Mr. Kwon Young-Gook, a chair of labour committee from MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society, non-governmental organization;
- original case no.: 2009KODAN1660: Article 136 of Criminal Act (Obstruction of Performance of Official Duties);
- found not guilty by the Suwon District Court on October 24, 2011
- Officers involved: Mr. Yu Dong-hyuk; the company commander of auxiliary police attached to the Pyeongtaek police station
- Case No. at Court of Appeal: 2011NO5044 (Obstruction of Performance of Official Duties etc.)
- Date of appeal: November 17, 2011
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the appeal by the prosecutor’s office on the case of Mr. Kwon who was found not guilty by the Suwon District Court on October 24, 2011. Mr. Kwon was originally charged with the obstruction of performance of official duties on providing legal assistance to the workers of Ssang yong motor company to attend a press conference on June 26, 2009.
According to the judgment obtained, the court freed Mr. Kwon with regards to the obstruction of official duties, which can be read, “The obstruction of performance of official duties should not be established if the official duties are unlawful and the performance of official duties should fall into not only abstract authority but also legal requirement and its procedures.”
In case of Mr. Kwon, his involvement in defending those who were illegally arrested and detained by force without being informed the gist of fact of crime and the reason of arrest, and the suspect of the right to counsel by the police is justifiable and should not be interpreted as obstruction of performance of official duties.
I regret to note, however, that the prosecutor brought this case to the court of appeal on November 17, 2011 despite the fact that with regards to the obstruction of performance of official duties are already set up not only by the Criminal Act but also by the numerous precedent cases by the Supreme Court.
Under this circumstance, it appears to have been interpreted that the prosecutor’s appeal was made not with the intention to arguing the judgment of the district court on legal perspectives but punishing Mr. Kwon by taking in pursuit of his case as long as possible though legal proceedings or politically oriented. There is no reason left to the prosecutor’s office to pursue this case.
I therefore, urge you to withdraw the appeal of the case of Mr. Kwon. If you keep pursuing this case with recognizing the fact that Mr. Kwon’s act is not guilty, your refusal of withdrawal will only show that the prosecutor troubles him through your unnecessary or excessive appeal with malicious intent to it whereas no disciplinary action has been made against the law enforcement agent.
AUTHOR: William Nicholas Gomes
E-MAIL: williamgomes.org [at] gmail.com