Go to contents

DA’s Office to Sue Kim Kyung-joon and Politicians for Defamation

DA’s Office to Sue Kim Kyung-joon and Politicians for Defamation

Posted December. 24, 2007 06:27,   


The Seoul DA’s office will reportedly commence a civil action against the defense team of Kim Kyung-joon, 41, who is now behind bars while waiting for a trial on aggravated fraud charges. Kim Kyung-joon alleged in a written note that the prosecutors coerced him, and his defense team released the note publicly.

The note was reportedly faked. But the defense team, without any fact-finding efforts, published the note, and defamed the honor and integrity of the prosecution. The note also triggered liberal politicians to pass an independent counsel act to look into Kim Kyung-joon’s fraud case, casually known as the BBK scandal. Thus, the DA’s office believes that its reputation has been smeared and damaged severely.

The damages the office is seeking will amount to millions of dollars. The DA’s office is reviewing the candidates who will prosecute the litigation on its behalf.

The prosecution is now looking into how the note was made and released out of prison, and why Kim Kyung-joon voluntarily agreed to extradition just a month before the last presidential election. When the office wraps up the ongoing investigation, it will determine how much in damages it will seek and against whom.

Rumors have it that some politicians will be included among the defendants in the looming lawsuit.

The prosecution has repeatedly demanded Kim and Kim’s family release the original copy of the note. They, however, have failed to produce it so far.

Kim Kyung-joon’s defense team leader Hong Seon-shik criticized newspapers, which previously branded Kim Kyung-joon’s note as faked based on Kim’s handwriting features shown in other notes. Attorney Hong also made repeated requests for verification of the authenticity of various documents. The DA’s office, however, has deemed the repeated requests as attempts to smear its integrity. Former presidential contender Lee Hoi-chang’s legal counsel Kim Jung-sul introduced Hong to Kim.

Last Friday, attorney Hong told reporters at the DA’s pressroom, “We have no intent to fire the other defense lawyers. The Dong-A reported that Kim Kyung-joon apologized for his allegations and confirmed that the prosecution had not coerced him. But it is not rue. We will file a lawsuit against Dong-A and other newspapers for false coverage.”

Contrary to Hong’s allegations, Kim Kyung-joon told prosecutors on the same day (i.e. December 20) that Kim would fire the current defense team and retain only Hong as long as Hong does not make more political comments.

A source close to the case explained on the condition of anonymity, “Kim Kyung-joon is now in a panic. He’s out of his mind. He’s changing his remarks all the time.”