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Judge Insulted by Warrant Denial

Posted November. 20, 2006 07:21,   


After it was reported that Lee Yong-hun, the chief justice of Supreme Court of Korea (SC), met Yoo Hoi-won, representative of Lone Star Advisors Korea, for whom arrest warrants were rejected, the SC flew into a rage, saying, “It is extremely degrading the judiciary to connect the arrest warrant rejection to the chief justice.”

On the legislation-judiciary committee on November 17, Grand National Party lawmaker Park Sei-hwan, a former prosecutor, said, “Lone Star is a large shareholder of the Korea Exchange Bank (KEB). It is chief justice Lee who took charge of the suit for a damage claim of 32.7 billion won filed by the KEB in June last year against Kukdong City Gas. Yoo appointed Lee as the attorney at that time.”

It was also reported that Lee had met with Yoo, Hyundai Marine and Fire Insurance representative Ha Jong-sun (an attorney in a law firm at that time), and KEB deputy president Kim Hyung-min at a hotel located in Gangnam, Seoul in December 2004.

When this was disclosed by the National Assembly and some press outlets, senior management of the SC is suspicious that “the prosecution is contriving a ploy just with “information” obtained through secret investigation of the chief justice, because of the unsatisfactory warrant rejection.” Actually, after the arrest warrants for Lone Star-related people were rejected one after the other on November 3 and 7, the prosecution has been collecting secret information extensively about their background, including court movements, and some prosecution officials has been saying, “The warrant rejection is related to Lee’s engagement during his previous career.”

The prosecution showed extreme displeasure with the SC’s suspicion and is trying to save the situation. Prosecutor General Jeong Sang-myung directed prosecutors to restrain themselves from individual actions.

The SC did not exercise any official confrontation yesterday either, but refuted the prosecutors’ allegations, saying, “It cannot make sense that Lee had the justice in charge reject the warrants for Yoo, because Lee got appointed for the KEB case when he was an attorney.”

It is said that it is absurd and ridiculous that the confrontation between both parties is involving Lee’s previous engagement from an emotional perspective rather than legal perspective.

Meanwhile, it was reported that Lee accepted the appointment for the KEB case with an upfront fee of 200 million won last June, but resigned later, paying back 150 million won after he was nominated to a chief justice candidate last September. Even though Lee intended to pay back the whole upfront fee, the KEB refused to it, the SC explained.

The SC adjudicated last week on the KEB lawsuit that “Kukdong City Gas should indemnify KEB for 30 percent only, because the KEB should be subject to liable for the remaining 70 percent.”

With regard to the question on whether chief justice Lee has met with Yoo, the SC said, “Lee has met with KEB officials, but it is not sure about whether Lee has met with Yoo. Lee doesn’t have any personal relationship with Yoo.”