Go to contents

[Editorial] What`s Different b/t 1.0 Mil. Won & 0.8 Mil. Won Fine

[Editorial] What`s Different b/t 1.0 Mil. Won & 0.8 Mil. Won Fine

Posted July. 03, 2001 08:59,   


The strict punishment of the electoral law violators seems to end up with a bluff. The court sentenced yesterday lighter penalties than the first-instance trial on the 8 indicted lawmakers who had been charged with the violation of the electoral laws during the past 4.13 general election. Five out of eight lawmakers were sentenced of the punishment that would lead them to lose their job at the first-instance trial but the appellate court rescued three of them.

This court decision contradicts its previous promise to punish strictly the violators of the electoral laws. Prior to the past 4.13 general election, the court revealed its principles to rush the trials related to the election and to sentence of the invalidation of the election if the violators are acknowledged as guilty.

However, the appellate court sentence of 0.8 million-won fine to the 3 indicted lawmakers who had been sentenced 1.0 million won fine at their first-instance trial, which would result in the invalidation of the election. By the reduced 0.2 million won, the lawmakers is able to continue making laws.

Of course, the judgment exclusively belongs to the judge`s authority. The court might have imposed lighter punishment due to the insufficient investigation of the prosecutors. However, the difference of the 0.2 million won between the first trial and the court review on an appeal may not be understandable.

It is worried about that the lukewarm judiciary decision stimulates the violations and the evasion of the electoral laws during the local election next year. In fact, 0.8 million won fine does not mean anything to the lawmakers. It has no effect of the punishment.

The trial of the election law violators should be a qualification process of the lawmakers. Only when the violators are strictly punished regardless the degree of their violation, the unjust habitual faith, `Winners win,` will be corrected.

In this regard, the article of the election law is only for the politicians in that, only by over 1.0 million won fine, the lawmakers lose their job. The law must be amended to invalidate the election when guilty verdict is ruled.

Delayed trials of the electoral law violators, which betrays the courts first promise, is another problem. As of a year three months after the 4.13 general election last year, 27 cases out of total 74 cases that might change the final decision of the election have not completed the first-instance trials yet. Only 21 cases have finished their reviews on appeals. The court must show that the law is just and alive by the judgments of the electoral law violators.