The Korea Herald


Podcast hosts probed over campaigning

By Korea Herald

Published : April 16, 2012 - 18:07

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The prosecution will investigate allegations that two members of a podcast critical of President Lee Myung-bak violated the election campaign law.

Kim Eo-jun (Yonhap News) Kim Eo-jun (Yonhap News)

The Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office said Monday that Seoul City’s election watchdog had filed complaints to the prosecution against Kim Eo-jun and Ju Jin-woo, co-hosts of “Naneun Ggomsuda,” citing legal clauses forbidding journalists from electioneering for a candidate.

Kim is the head of progressive online journal Ddanji Ilbo and Ju a journalist at the weekly liberal newsletter Sisain.

The two were accused of violating regulations regarding the use of campaign cars and loudspeakers in the street. Photographs and recorded voice files were submitted as evidence, prosecution officials said.

They supported Kim Yong-min, one of their show’s hosts who entered the race in Seoul’s Nowon-A constituency, and Rep. Chung Dong-young of the main opposition Democratic United Party who challenged the Gangnam-B race.

“Voting for Rep. Chung is for your best interests, unless you are a conglomerate owner,” the Seoul Election Commission quoted them in the complaint as saying in a street campaign in Gangnam earlier this month.

Ju claimed that “true victory may only be achieved when Kim wins (in Nowon-A).”

Kim, however, lost in his constituency and also had a negative impact upon the entire liberal camp, after a backlash against foul remarks he made on the Internet.

Still, he pledged to continue his political satire online, only days after he said he would reflect on his flaws and remain low key.

Chung, too, lost to ruling party candidate and former free trade deal negotiator Kim Jong-hoon in the right-wing stronghold.

The election watchdog’s legal action largely reflects its determination to tolerate no exception for election law violation, as it had repeatedly warned the podcast crew to terminate its illicit campaigning.

Former left-wing lawmaker Chung Bong-ju, another host of the show, was jailed late last year for spreading false rumors about President Lee Myung-bak.

By Bae Hyun-jung

<관련 한글 기사>

검찰 '나꼼수' 끝장내나, 김어진, 주진우 수사

검찰이 불법 선거운동을 한 혐의로 고발당한 팟 캐스트 방송 '나는 꼼수다' 패널 김어준(44) 딴지일보 총수와 주진우(39) 시사IN 기 자에 대한 수사에 착수했다.

서울중앙지검 공안1부(이상호 부장검사)는 서울시 선거관리위원회가 김씨와 주씨를 선거법 위반 혐의로 고발한 사건을 서울지방경찰청으로 보내 수사지휘할  방침 이라고 16일 밝혔다.

검찰 관계자는 "지난주 금요일 서울시 선관위의 고발이 접수됐다"며 "경찰이 기 초 조사를 하게 한 뒤 송치받아 수사할 예정"이라고 밝혔다.

검찰과 서울시선관위에 따르면 김씨와 주씨는 4ㆍ11 총선기간인 지난 4월1일부 터 10일까지 8차례에 걸쳐 민주통합당 정동영 후보와 김용민 후보 등 특정 후보를 대중 앞에서 공개적으로 지지하고 대규모 집회를 연 혐의 등을 받고 있다.

서울시 선관위는 "선거운동을 할 수 없는 언론인이 불법적인 방법을 동원해 선거운동을 했다"는 취지로 김씨와 주씨를 검찰에 고발했다. 공직선거법 제60조에 따르면 언론인은 선거운동이 금지돼있다.

서울시 선관위는 이들에게 불법 선거운동이라며 여러 차례 이메일로 공문을 보내고 현장에서도 경고도 한 것으로 알려졌다. (연합뉴스)