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Police Divided over Alleged Revenge Violence Investigation

Police Divided over Alleged Revenge Violence Investigation

Posted May. 04, 2007 03:20,   


The police currently investigating the alleged revenge violence case of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-yeon, are expected to launch another investigation into the handling of a probe into Chairman Kim’s use of violence on bar employees at a bar in Gangnam, two years ago. Police have stated that Chairman Kim may face another summons if it is deemed necessary over the course of the investigation.

In the morning of May 3, National Police Agency’s Investigation Director Joo Sang-yong visited Namdaemun Police Station, which had taken over Chairman Kim’s case, and said, “I have ordered the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency to investigate further the “Gangnam case” which has been reported in the media. If confirmed to be true, the two cases will be merged and will go through judicial proceedings together.

An employee of C bar, in Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam, met a Dong-A Ilbo reporter on May 2 and claimed, “On March 21, 2005, Chairman Kim visited the bar with some acquaintances. He forced the then manager to kneel down and he hit the manager’s head with a liquor bottle citing poor service by the female bar employee.

After this allegation, Hanwha responded, “How can it be proved that such an event happened two years ago?”, and added, “If the rumor is true, the injured bar worker should make a statement under his own name.”

When asked by reporters whether Chairman Kim should receive a summons, Director Joo answered, “It is not enough to just collect statements made by defendants.” This indicates the possibility of Chairman Kim being summonsed as a suspect.

However, the head of Namdaemun Police Station, Jang Hee-gon, when claiming the Gangnam case and Bukchang-dong case to be different, stated that “he has the full authority over the command of the Bukchang-dong case.” He added, “Even though the director commands a joint investigation, I will not follow it.” This reveals the huge difference in opinions over the related issue within the police force.

According to Jang, “Namdaemun Police Station will only focus on the case at hand and will (upon ending the corroborative investigation) request a separate arrest warrant (in the future).

Meanwhile, Park Cheol-jun, deputy director of the Seoul district prosecutors’ office, stated, “Director Seo Beom-jeong at 8th division, which is in charge of the Hanwha group case, made an oral order to the head of the Namdaemun Police Station, Jang Hee-gon, to investigate the case.”

The prosecution explained that under its command, instructions were given to prevent infringements of human rights, to pay attention to protecting the privacy of the involved person(s), and to carry out a thorough investigation by adhering to legal proceedings, including avoiding late-night investigations except under unpreventable circumstances.

imsun@donga.com dnsp@donga.com