The case of the sexual hospitality of the villa of former Deputy Justice Kim Hak-eui has not been revealed even after the prosecution's subsequent investigations. The trial began only after a fact-finding team of the Great Swordsman's past was organized in 2018, and Kim, who was attempting to leave Korea late at night, was captured at the airport. However, even at the trial, only charges unrelated to sexual entertainment were admitted.
However, with the recent release of the internal report of the Supreme Examination Fact-Investigation Team, doubts about the procedural legitimacy at the time were raised. A conclusion was not drawn based on objective evidence, but traces of the investigation proceeded at the intention of some members, and the question of whether the investigation had a specific purpose remained intact in the group chat room.
Through an interview with attorney Joon-young Park who released this report, we heard the reason for the release of the report.
Q. You are famous for'reexamination specialty', but you have recently stood at the center of the issue with Kim Hak's case. First of all, please explain the work you entered in Kim Hak's past history investigation team in 2019 and the background that came along the way.
A: I served as a member of the Prosecution Reform Committee from September 2017 to September 2018. During the activity period, there was a past photographic investigation by the prosecution. I was offered to work as a fact-finding team from a member of the reform committee, and I went to work there. In the beginning, I investigated the case of the brothers' welfare support case, the PD notebook case, and the case of KBS President Jeong Yeon-ju. During the investigation period, the case of the former vice minister of Kim Hak was reassigned, and he joined the reassigned team to investigate the case of the former vice minister of Kim Hak.
On March 8, 2019, Hak Kim left the investigation team without finishing it to the end. Because I've been experiencing how the investigation was conducted for about four months before it came out. But what happened after that was very shocking to me personally. So, I couldn't be without telling the story, so from the end of March 2019, I continued to raise issues through Facebook.
Q. Could you explain in more detail what made you appear in the middle of Hak Kim's investigation team in 2019?
A. It was the most personal and easy choice. Because the reason I came out was to honestly protect me and protect me. What do you mean, by the time it came out on March 8th, some exclusive reports started to come out. However, those single reports were related to the honor of those people on the report, and I thought it would be serious when there was a problem. So I thought,'Oh, if I stay here, I can take responsibility for this single report together.'
So I thought,'Going out is what I need to protect me.' The part that I regret a little there is that I have to actively raise issues inside the part that I do not have to say so that such reports do not go out further. But if you don't do that and say,'Only you cowardly come out, and that's a problem,' I have nothing to say, in fact.
However, even if I asked someone who doubted me about how the solo report went out, I didn't give a responsible answer, so I couldn't correct this and how I couldn't control it. So it came out because it was best to go out.
Q. Would you like an explanation for the sole reports of the problem? For example, were inappropriate things circulated inside the investigation team?
A. First, the former prosecutor general of Han Sang University was also mentioned. As the prosecutor general was also connected with the hospitality of the villa, the infringement of that person's honor was significant. In addition, reports related to Choi Soon-sil infringe on the honor of the person whose image of Choi Soon-sil is also connected to him. So I thought those reports were quite inappropriate and there were many problems.
Things that happened in the process of investigation went out unruly. The source of the independent report is bound to be the investigative team, as the information that only those who have been involved with in the investigation process have been published. But, because a suspicious person denied it, there was no way to do anything. Also, the content of the exclusive report is very much like this case of former vice minister of Kim Hak, you think of a villa, people. The rise and fall of a name in connection with that case can inflict a great invasion of honor. However, I was anxious because these independent reports just went out like this.
Q. There must have been various risks and burdens in taking the lead in public debate, but what was the reason for your decision to make public debate?
A. It felt good just when I first came out. The expression of feeling good is a little bit like that. When it first came out, it came out well. Because after it came out, the presidential talk was announced and an investigation team was formed. I was really absurd, in fact. An emergency withdrawal was made. So, oh, it's a good thing that I wasn't involved in such a great deal. I really didn't consider it. I never thought that such a great thing would happen after I came out.
I just came out to take no responsibility for the exclusive reporting. But, what happened after that was so great. So I thought it came out well, but I started to feel how it came out. I thought it would be just fine. I mostly experienced retrial cases. Re-examination cases are cases in which the substance of the case is revealed in decades. In the end, I have experienced through the incident that the truth will be revealed, everything will be revealed, and I am a person who has witnessed with my own eyes the various disadvantages that the person responsible for the case faces after the substance is revealed.
I think the problem of this former vice minister Kim's case will eventually be revealed someday, and at that time, I thought I should have something to say. So, you have to raise a problem in advance. That's why I started writing on Facebook from the end of March 2019. I've been writing a lot for a while. I saw the problem of former Vice Minister Kim's case, but I also saw Yoon's problem in the Jang Ja-yeon case. And it was easy to talk about some of the problems of the investigation team because I had experienced it.
Also, I only came from Kim Hak's team inside, and because I was still in the investigation team, I had high-level information. So I kept talking. Then I actually had the idea that I would talk to you again in the future. I didn't know that there would be a situation where we had to talk so quickly. The reason why I thought that I should try to make public debate more active this time is that it is a serious problem to talk about some reform of the judicial system while distorting other facts with different arguments contrary to what I know. When talking about reform, the case of former Vice Minister Kim was always mentioned. The prosecution reform, the establishment of an airlift, something like this. However, the former vice minister Kim case is not without problems, but it is not correct to say that the system needs to be changed by unilaterally and by highlighting certain problems.
And recently, it has been said that a separate request for investigating important crimes should be made to completely eliminate the direct investigation by the prosecution. Of course, I am not aware of the harm of direct investigation, but I did not think that this reform, which completely loses the function of police investigation control and prevents direct investigation, is not a reform.
The priority is to settle the law to adjust the investigative power of prosecutors. And if the reform that I'm talking about is troubled next, then we can carefully look at it, but now I'm too hasty, and I saw that the reform claim is linked to my own personal purpose and some unjust purpose of the political power.
If so, if the former Vice Minister Kim case is the basis for the reform, then properly inform the problems of the former Vice Minister Kim case. I talked about reform in the case of former Vice Minister Kim. Then, I came to think that if the former Vice Minister Kim's case is properly informed, public opinion will be formed correctly, and that public opinion will be able to correct the problem of the current reform claim. However, in order to properly inform the case of former Vice Minister Kim, I need data as well as the facts I experienced in the investigation team, and it is obvious that there are limitations and problems to publicizing the case alone with the data. So, I had to do it through the two media, and a lot of reporters and officials in both media are helping me now, so it is still very difficult, but it seems that many people are paying attention to the facts and background behind the case.
Q. You told me about the problem, but more specifically, what do you think is the biggest problem in the process of proceeding with Kim Hak's fact-finding investigation and the conclusion of the last investigation report?
A. I came out on March 8. And the fact-finding team's activities ended on May 31st. Even after I came out, there were more than two months. Information about what happened during that period can of course be limited. However, I only came out of the investigation team, I remained in the investigation team, and while remaining in the investigation team, I heard quite a lot from the investigation team member in Kim Hak's investigation team. And after that, I learned the contents of the chat room, and since the end of March, the investigation team was actually organized and active, so it was a form of watching the activities of the investigation team. So, I think I can talk meaningfully even though there is a period after I've been active for more than two months.
First of all, the first problem is that the people who saw the records of women's statements in the beginning decided that (the claim that Kim Hak-eui had sexually assaulted) was in fact close to innocence. So, in fact, at the time of joining Kim Hak's former vice-minister's investigation team, there was some stimulus and shock in the villa video,'This is an incident buried by the prosecution. I went in with prior information, saying,'It's a case with many problems,' but looking at the records, it's at least that this allegation of'sexual violence' and (Kim Hak's Yoon Joong-cheon's) joint rape claim cannot be trusted by women. Rather, I learned that there is an exaggeration or distorted statement. So I wandered thinking,'What the hell should I do?' 'What should I do?' This, however, is not proud of the judgment that this is an innocent statement, but prosecutor Lee Gyu-won, who has seen the most records at the beginning, and the other prosecutors who have worked with this prosecutor, also made such a judgment. However, as the investigation team was formed after the president's speech was announced and the fact-finding team activities ended, conclusions were drawn in the direction of forcibly highlighting the victims of women.
No matter how much people in the world criticize, lawyers should speak based on the record as long as they have seen a record that can determine whether or not the critic is accused. And it can be said that the judgment based on the record is a conviction. This is an expert judgment. And you do an investigation with the people's taxes.
When an expert enters into a tax-inclusive investigation, the people's desire to ask the expert is,'Please, make an expert judgment with confidence'. In the beginning, the expert judgment was innocent, but how can this be changed so easily? I think that the situations after the presentation of the power and the president's discourse are the intervention of the power. And public opinion, Kim Hak's former vice-minister are all the ones we criticized,'Can the judgment change like this because of the pressure and power in the public opinion?' Such a shock.
Q. You don't think that everything that happened at the villa wasn't a problem.
A. No. The innocent spot I looked at was when women were'jointly raped by former Vice Minister Kim and Jeung-Chun Yoon and saw the damage.' I am talking about that claim. The legal charges for special rape are quite thick.
I think that among women's claims, women's surnames were sometimes exploited and exploited by Yoon Joong-cheon's deception. However, there is a limit to saying that the exploitation of Yoon Joong-cheon is that any sexual relationship is a crime. It is actually difficult to completely restore the situation at that time. Quite a bit of time has passed, and it's a difficult case to restore. However, I think that among the numerous sexual relations between Yoon Joong-cheon and women, there must have been an incident that can be called sexual violence, which can be called a crime. Although not specifically specific. However, it was hard to believe the claim that'the former Vice Minister of Hak Kim committed sexual assaults together'. And my judgment was innocent.
However, that did not mean that I had to ask for an investigation innocently. Because anyway, it is true that women's sex was exploited and used. And in fact, the fact that the fact-finding investigation of Kim Hak's former vice minister has risen to the surface of the world by power and politics rather than actively wanting it by women, I thought it was very harsh to hold women accountable in this situation, even innocent. Also, since it does not correspond to the purpose of any re-investigation of the former Vice Minister Kim's case, I think that it is not appropriate to just sort out the problem as a problem and complete the investigation.
Q. But is it pointed out that in the process of legalizing'sexual hospitality' at a villa under the law of'special rape', you have not been expertly considered?
A. Yes. As far as former Vice Minister Kim is concerned, the hospitality of former Vice Minister Kim is a crime. There is actually a problem with concluding that it is a crime. This is because bribery should be acknowledged for the price and job-related things, but now that time has passed, it is difficult to find such evidence, and even at that time, I hear some questions about whether such a job could have been found even if the investigation was done properly. So I just say that what I just said is a crime may be my comment conscious of public opinion, but it's an act with a problem anyway. Senior officials shouldn't do that. I think we should take responsibility and blame for it. However, I think that asking him to take serious criminal responsibility beyond that one's actions can be too harsh for him.
Q. You are talking about the aspect of judgment as a lawyer
A. There is a judgment as a lawyer, and in fact it contains any of my views on sex. Until that, I do not deny.
Q. By the way, while watching the lawyer's disclosure and content progress, the reason why many people feel uncomfortable is because Kim Hak-eui is a person who received sexual treatment from a business owner in a villa. 'No, there may be some detailed errors in the process of re-investigating a person who has not been condemned legally even after receiving sexual treatment for such a bad person, using high-ranking officials, but it is too much to make a problem with it.' What do you think of that point?
A. There is a part to relate to. If I were a citizen who didn't learn the law and didn't know much about Kim Hak's former vice-minister's case, I would be the same. Because the law was too weak for the strong. And it was too strong against the weak. Then there is such a history that we have not been able to liquidate any of us, and I fully sympathize with that view of the former vice minister Kim's case.
However, responsibility for the act. You have to be responsible for what you did. If you are held accountable for more than your own faults, you will not even admit the faults you have made. He tries to deny even his own mistakes. That's why proper responsibility is so important. And these principles should apply equally to everyone.
And, as I mentioned earlier, the information we know about the Kim case is being publicized because I think that there is something wrong with it. So, even if the information on the incident was accurately provided, the public opinion on this Vice Minister Kim,'I think it was not, though. It seems like this was a bit severe.'
So, in order to tell you that it is important to ask for the proper responsibility in asking the law and criminal responsibility, I thought it was suitable for public debate, although the situation was burdensome. Another, there is a due process clause in the constitution. In order to confirm a certain entity, it is necessary to go through a procedure, a legal procedure.
Even the most vicious criminals are sentenced to death without trial, sentenced to life imprisonment or not. It's a procedure. What does procedure mean, because people are selfish. He interprets the mistakes he has made from his own point of view. I've experienced it. Even if a person has committed a heinous crime, he just interprets it from his own point of view. So, despite trial, the person will never accept the conclusion, even if this case is a life imprisonment, or even if it is an unforgivable crime in which the death penalty is inevitable, the person will never accept the conclusion without proceeding. So the process is really important, and the process must be legal. There shouldn't be any exceptions.
But in the case of Vice Minister Kim Jeon, do you admit such an exception? What is the basis for acknowledging such an exception, what is the logic, and, as mentioned earlier, we have to think about whether we are asking for an exception for justice too quickly in a situation where we have not been properly provided with information about the case.
Q. Women's organizations and women's circles pay more attention to victims in the process of being exploited by women in this case. In the process of being publicized again, I think you can point out that there is a secondary damage, in simple terms, that there is a secondary harm to the incidents of the victims being revealed again?
A. I know it's a covert sexual assault case. First of all, sex-related cases are covert. It is deeply related to an individual's honor. So, it's not that we haven't thought about what they will face when we rediscover the incident related to this sex. However, some of them are people who have actively made their own arguments through the media and sometimes through investigative agencies. However, many of those claims can be false. There are also cases where falsehoods have been proven.
If so, I think they should be the subject of public debate because they have been actively making their own arguments in the case of the former vice-minister of Kim Hak. The object of public debate is that the verification of the assertion has become essential as a public event. Since it is an event related to sex, I am not aware of the fact that it is sensitive, but because they have actively argued, it has become a subject of verification.
Q. Those who are the subject of raising concerns are not well informed of their current position even when requesting a counter-argument coverage. From the point of view of the investigators,'Why are the lawyers going out first, but the things that happened later, the lawyers didn't do, so why come now?'. I think it might be possible to say something like,'Aren't you going to overdo it?' What do you think of this part?
A. If a white paper or a white paper containing the details of the investigation has been published, the investigation process and investigation contents can be verified through the white paper. However, I am aware that there is no plan to publish a white paper. Two years have already passed.
There is only 20 pages of the press release summarizing the final report on the investigation of the past, which is made in relation to the case of former Vice Minister Kim Hak. However, the results of the survey organized in 20 pages are not fair or objective. In this situation, who can raise the issue of this case. Who can raise the issue of this case?
However, this case will continue to be used when the situation that does not raise such a problem continues in the future. We continue to be used politically and for various purposes according to various interests. And in the situation of being exploited, the people are deceived. People become fools. Actually. You need to know it right, because you can't be fooled.
It is said that the first thing that the ruling powers undertake is the allegorization of the dominated class. There may be someone who asks whether making a fool is possible in our society now in the information society, but the Woominhwa work is still ongoing and will continue in the future. What I mean is that dominant power, some powerful power, keeps providing only the information that they want to instill. I keep emphasizing it. Then you become stupid. If you judge with only that, you become a fool. The reason why we keep planning articles and reports through the two presses is to make correct judgments with objective information and a little more information. And with good judgment, let's also actively argue about the problems of our society from time to time.
because. In a situation where prosecution reform and judicial reform are the hot topic of this era, we can be the beneficiaries or victims of that reform. However, when our voices are not properly reflected and the dominant power goes in the desired direction, this is very unfortunate for us.
Q. I am raising a question about the political use of the dominant power in Kim Hak's issue, but the opposing forces say,'Isn't that questioning itself politically utilized by you?' What do you think of those claims and attacks?
A. I think that such arguments and attacks deserve to be misunderstood. I think that it is deserving of misunderstanding, and that being attacked by some people who support this government and the ruling party is unavoidable in the current situation. In reality. Because the former Vice Minister Kim's case has become virtually a political case. No matter how much you try to deny it, even if you just look at the case, you cannot see it that way. It's a political case.
It is inevitable that politics itself is to be publicized to find out some of the details of a political event. It's a political act. Whether intended or not. By the way. Then, can this public debate be made again? And public debate is a time when it is absolutely necessary. Prosecution reform.
Some people say that it is a political act to stop claiming very extreme prosecution reform with Kim Hak's former vice minister. Would. You know, but you can't pretend you don't know.
Q. Why did you choose SBS and Hankook Ilbo in the process of exposure?
A. This is something I have to do at this time. But even at this time, I tried to make sure that I wouldn't get caught up in political controversy. You skipped the election period. And also, I judged that the Hankook Ilbo and SBS were relatively freer than other media in the camp logic. And even if I'm misunderstood that I have politics. I have no idea about the contents of this series of articles and planning articles. I don't know much. It's the kind of structure that you know when it comes out online. If so, I think the two media could be a shield against political controversy. One more thing, it's true that there are political beneficiaries. I can't deny it.
The opposing forces of the passport are bound to be the political beneficiaries of this public debate. because. It is because they are making public debates while claiming that the passport was abused in the reform of the prosecution. That's actually a burden. But if I delay this again, it will enter the presidential election phase. It means to organize it quickly. Let's clean up quickly. That's why I do it now.
Lastly, is there any possibility to use this as a political foothold after standing in the middle of this political controversy and making public debate like this? It's such a misunderstanding. To be sure, I don't know if I'm worthy of being contacted, but I'm not going to join either party for any calls. I'm not going to express support to either side. You can't stop speaking politically forever. But at least I'm not going to do any political action that would flaw the public debate of these two media, and I'd be more cautious.
Q. While making this case public, the lawyer said that everyone, including myself, should reflect. What do you want to reflect on?
A. The results of the investigation were not available as a white paper. According to the information I have heard, it is impossible to make a white paper. There was also a saying that it was a really embarrassing report. I'm really sorry for the member who wrote the report hard and saw the record hard, but after struggling to write it alone, the result of that hard work was almost damaged by some other members like that at the end.
I know what happened in the process of protecting it again. So, I am a little sorry to the member who wrote the report, but anyway, the report was said to be a person who gave up publishing the white paper that there was a problem that it was difficult to come out as a white paper.
If the results of the investigation were not open to the public, it is a problem of the investigation process. Another problem in the process of presenting the results of the investigation. Problems in the deliberation or resolution process. Not only the members of the investigation team, but also the members of the committee must be responsible. What did you do wrong. What's inadequate. I have to talk. Because if you take something like this without confessing and not reflecting on it, the public will easily forget it no matter how badly you do. Just forget it all like that. Just stay still. It ends with only a lesson like that. He said'Gonyijiji'. There must be something to realize after going through difficult things. The case of Kim Hak's former vice minister is very difficult for me personally, and it is also very difficult for those involved in the deliberation process of the investigation team, and it is also difficult for our society.
Let's realize something and go. The premise to realize is the reflection of the people involved. However, it is an incident that I need to reflect deeply as I urge those involved to reflect. And among those involved, there are certainly people who can be very unfair, and people who need to understand the situation. So let's not let our citizens criticize them indiscriminately. Among so many people, I cannot say that my responsibility is light.
Q. You seem to have given me some answers, but after going through this, the next thing is important, right? What and how do you think it's important to change?
A. First of all, I don't think the world will change easily. I don't think it will change easily. People's thoughts don't change easily. It's the result of experience. And even I only see the facts and evidence I want to see when I organize my thoughts. So I don't think it will change easily. However, the efforts of me and the people we share in this process of change. And also those who support and support this kind of public debate.
I hope you appreciate the sincerity of the solidarity forces. I think that just by being evaluated for such authenticity, it can be said that the change has begun. I believe that what you want specifically will be contained in the planning articles written by the two media and the coverage files that SBS will continue to write in the future, and I know that I am preparing for that.
(Interview: Won Jong-jin, video coverage: Kim Se-kyung, Lee Seung-hwan, editor: Jang Hyun-ki)