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Prosecution Decides Not to Ban Departure of Song Doo-yul

Prosecution Decides Not to Ban Departure of Song Doo-yul

Posted July. 25, 2004 22:09,   


The prosecution has temporarily concluded on July 25 that it would not ban a departure of Song Doo-yul, a Korean-German scholar who was indicted for violating national security law and who was released on probation an appeal case on July 21.

“The final decision will be made on July 26 or 27 after discussing this matter with the investigation task force and the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office,” an official of the prosecution said. Another official said, “We haven’t made a final decision yet, but it is likely that we will not prohibit the departure.”

--Why the hesitation to ban the departure?

Since the court appeal of this case, which will take place in the Supreme Court, is judgment on law application, the presence of Song at the court is not absolutely necessary and the trial will possibly lengthen until the final adjudication, which made the prosecution contemplate whether to ban Song’s departure.

It was also known that the possibility of debate over the intervention of human rights resulting from a ban to leave the country, and possible consequences regarding diplomatic relations with Germany were considered. Immigration law says that the minister of law can bar the departure of those who are likely to harm the national interest or public safety among foreigners who are undergoing a criminal trial. Once the departure is banned, the decision of whether to extend the period is made every three months.

--Problems may occur when actual punishment is sentenced

Song, a German citizen, can leave Korea unless the court or the prosecution takes other measures. Song has announced after being released from jail that he will give a lecture this winter semester in Germany.

It was pointed out, however, that the problem of how to handle Song might occur if the decision is overturned and Song receives an actual punishment after the Supreme court overrules the original sentence of probation and sends the case to the Seoul High Court.

Sang-Rok Lee myzodan@donga.com