Back To Top

Police to question prosecutor over judge’s influence-peddling

Judge allegedly asked for probe over slander of politician wife



Police are considering whether to question a prosecutor over allegations that she had been asked by a judge to indict a citizen who slandered his wife, who was a ruling party lawmaker.

If the judge is found to have peddled his influence, which is a serious offense, he may be stripped of his position.

According to media reports, police may question prosecutor Park Eun-jeong of Incheon Prosecutors’ Office’s Bucheon division over an allegation that she was asked by Judge Kim Jae-ho of the Uijeongbu District Court’s Goyang division to indict an Internet user who slandered his wife Na Kyung-won in 2005.

The case started when a netizen was indicted for posting articles on his blog, denouncing Na for attending the 50th anniversary of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in a Seoul hotel in 2004. Though she claimed she went to the event without knowing its nature and got off the venue immediately after learning of it, her visit has been criticized by members of the public who oppose the militarization of Japan. Internet users have uploaded tens of thousands of posts branding Na a traitor.

Na filed a complaint with the prosecution against the netizen in 2005 over slander. The Internet user’s activity was regarded as a misdemeanor since all of his 70 posts were copied from newspaper articles or other persons’ postings. It was highly unlikely that he was to be sought for penalization.

But the direction of the investigation seems to have changed when Kim, who worked at the Seoul Western District Court at that time, allegedly rang Park and asked her to indict the netizen. He convinced a reluctant Park that he would “take care of everything once indictment takes place.”

Kim, the netizen, was indicted in April 2006 and given a 7 million won ($6,300) fine by the Supreme Court eight months later. His conviction dampened the denouncement against Na to a certain level, observers said.

The story was revealed last October by the nation’s most popular podcast, “Naneun Ggomsuda.” In its Oct. 24 episode, panelists claimed that Kim asked a prosecutor for an indictment, which could be interpreted as an order.

They said Kim has chose the netizen because he lived in western Seoul, where the judge worked, so if action was taken against him, it would be by his colleagues.

The program’s claim has reportedly tainted the image of Na’s ethics, contributing to her loss in the Oct. 26 Seoul mayoral by-election. Na’s aides have filed a complaint of defamation against Ju Jin-woo, one of the panelists of the show.

Na said that her husband was abroad at the time and that influence peddling was impossible.

On Tuesday, the panelists announced that Park had come clean about the whole incident.

“We did not expect Park to become a whistleblower because the prosecution is such a reclusive organization that spilling the beans about its own irregularities could claim her career,” said Kim Eo-jun, the main host of “Ggomsuda” during the programs’ latest episode.

He said he had revealed Park’s name in order to draw public attention so that the prosecution could not mistreat her behind the doors.

The Supreme Court and the prosecution refused to confirm the allegations. Park also remained tightlipped toward the media.

“Park has been acknowledged for her righteousness and honesty. Her words will be respected,” Baek Hye-ryeon, a former prosecutor and Park’s close friend, said in a radio show Thursday. “But there will be a silent pressure asking her to resign.”

Police said they consider questioning Park as a witness to Na’s case, but did not confirm any detail about her.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

 

<한글기사>

경찰, '나경원 남편 청탁' 검사 조사 검토



경찰이 새누리당 나경원 전 의원의 남편 김재호 판사로부터 나 전 의원을 비방한 누리꾼을 기소해달라는 청탁을 받았다는 의혹이 제기된 검사를 조사하는 방안을 검토 중이다.

29일 경찰에 따르면 서울지방경찰청은 28일 방송된 팟캐스트 라디오 '나는 꼼수 다'(나꼼수)에서 "인천지검 부천지청 박은정 검사가 공안수사팀에 자신이 기소 청탁 을 받은 사실을 말했다"는 주장이 나온 것과 관련, 박 검사의 조사 여부와 방법  등 을 이번 주 안에 정하기로 했다.

경찰 관계자는 "아직 박 검사를 조사할지 말지 검토 중이다. 소환 조사를  포함 해서 서면 조사 등 조사를 할 수도 있고 안 할 수도 있다"며 "시간을 두고 결정할 문제다"라고 말했다.

주진우 시사인 기자는 나 전 의원이 한나라당 서울시장 후보였던 지난해 10월 나꼼수 방송에서 "나 후보의 남편 김재호 판사가 2005년 서울 서부지법 재직 당시 나 후보의 일본 자위대 행사장 방문에 대해 비판글을 올린 네티즌을 기소해 달라고 서부지검 검사에게 청탁했다"고 주장했다.

나 전 의원 측은 이에 대해 허위사실 유포에 의한 명예훼손 등으로 주 기자를 서울지방경찰청에 고발했고 주 기자도 허위사실이 아니라는 취지로 맞고소했다.

주 기자의 구속영장을 검찰이 검토한다는 소식을 듣고 박 검사가 청탁 사실을 검찰에 공개했다는 나꼼수 주장에 대해 경찰은 "박 검사의 이름은 처음 들었다"며 "

주 기자에 대한 영장 역시 아직 정해진 게 없다"고 말했다.

서울중앙지검 관계자는 박 검사의 증언과 관련해 "경찰이 수사 중인 사안과  관 련된 특정인의 진술에 대해 확인해줄 수 없다"는 입장을 밝혔다. 박 검사는 취재 요 청에 응하지 않고 있다.

박 검사 조사와 관련해 경찰 안팎에서는 현직 검사라는 점 등을 감안해 서면, 전화 조사를 하거나 검찰이 자체 조사를 하고 경찰에 통보해주는 방식이 유력할  것 이라는 전망도 나오고 있다.

MOST POPULAR
LATEST NEWS
Korea Herald daum
subscribe