The Constitutional Court dismissed former Chief Justice Lim Seong-geun, who was impeached by the National Assembly on charges of unfairly intervening in the defamation trial of former President Park Geun-hye during the time of Chief Justice Yang Seung-tae.

The Constitutional Court said that among the nine constitutional judges, five judges Lee Seon-ae, Lee Eun-ae, Lee Jong-seok, Lee Young-jin, and Lee Mi-sun gave their opinions, and the majority of the judges exceeded the majority.

The judges who made the dismissal decided that there was no benefit in the impeachment trial, as ex-Chief Judge Lim had already retired after his term as a judge, so it was impossible to remove him from public office.

On the other hand, three judges Yoo Nam-seok, Lee Seok-tae, and Kim Ki-young argued that the impeachment charge should be cited, saying that former Chief Justice Lim directly violated the principle of judicial independence while actively responding to the unreasonable request of the deputy head of the Court Administration Office.

In addition, Justice Moon Hyung-bae gave a minority opinion that the impeachment trial process should be regarded as the end of the prosecution because the former Chief Justice Lim lost the respondent's qualifications as long as he retired due to the expiration of his term of office.

In February, the National Assembly voted to impeach former Chief Judge Lim, who served as the chief criminal judge of the Seoul Central District Court, for violating the principle of due process and independence of judges by unfairly intervening in the trial.

The former Chief Judge Lim refuted that he only advised judges based on personal acquaintance and did not intervene in the trial.

Former Chief Judge Im, who had been charged with the same allegations and received a criminal trial, was acquitted in both the first and second trials, and is awaiting a final decision by the Supreme Court after the prosecution's appeal.

(Photo = Yonhap News)