Go to contents

Defendants Given the Right to Deny Written Reports Submitted by the Prosecution

Defendants Given the Right to Deny Written Reports Submitted by the Prosecution

Posted December. 16, 2004 23:23,   


A new Supreme Court ruling stated that a written report submitted by the prosecutor is not admissible in court if the defendant denies any of its contents during the trial.

According to previous rulings by the Supreme Court, under circumstances in which there was no evidence of unusual treatment on behalf of the defendant, if the defendant “acknowledges that the signature sealed on the prosecutor’s written report is his,” the report submitted by the prosecution is admissible in court even though the defendant denies its contents during trial.

On December 16, the Supreme Court’s Chamber of Unanimous Consent (Supreme Court justice Kim Young-dahm) overruled the court’s previous ruling, which had found the defendant guilty of insurance fraud, and ordered the case to be sent back to the Jeonju District Court after finding the defendant not guilty of charges brought against him.

The court ruled, “The written report submitted by the prosecution on behalf of the defendant is admissible during trial if the authenticity of the report can be validated by having the defendant testify on the validity of the report during trial. A formal means of authentication such as the acknowledgement of the defendant or the presence of his sealed signature on the prosecution’s written report is not substantial enough to be assumed as actual authenticity of the report on behalf of the defendant.”

The court also added, “The reason why the courts interpreted the law to come to such conclusions was to uphold the Trial Oriented Doctrine that complies with both the Direct Examination Doctrine and the Oral Proceedings Doctrine of Criminal Procedural Law.”

Thus, if the defendant denies the contents of the written report submitted by the prosecution during trial, the written report is denied unless there are Special Circumstances Clause (states that the written report was created under a credible environment) of article 312 clause 1 of the Criminal Procedural Law. It is thus expected that the prosecution will be experiencing extra hardships during investigations.

A Supreme Court justice said, “I believe that through the decision made by the Supreme Court, previous methods of investigation which depended heavily on testimonials will no longer be acceptable. The Trial Oriented Doctrine will be strengthened, in which only testimonials and evidence submitted in courts are accepted during trials.”