In early 2020, the early days of the spread of COVID-19, officials of the Shincheonji Daegu Church who were charged with obstructing an epidemiological investigation by submitting a list with some members omitted to the quarantine authorities were acquitted by the Supreme Court.
In February 2020, as the number of infections increased mainly in the Shincheonji Daegu Church, the Central Defense Countermeasures Headquarters requested the Shincheonji Daegu Church to submit a membership list.
The Shincheonji Daegu Church submitted a list of 9,293 out of 9,785 members, excluding 492, to the quarantine authorities.
The authorities sent church officials to trial, claiming that the church had obstructed the epidemiological investigation by deliberately omitting some members.
In both counts 1 and 2, the defendants were acquitted.
The court ruled that "the request for submission of the church member list cannot be regarded as an 'epidemiological investigation' according to the Infectious Disease Prevention Act, so even if the accused submits false data or intentionally omits, punishment cannot be imposed."
In addition, the court acknowledged the intention to obstruct the investigation, saying, "The accused members may have withheld from the list and tried to submit it later." I found it difficult.
The Supreme Court dismissed the prosecution's appeal, noting that there was no error in the trial court's judgment.
The first division of the Supreme Court (Chief Justice Roh Tae-ak) announced on the 15th that it had confirmed the original judgment of acquittal of church officials who were handed over to trial on charges of violating the Infectious Disease Prevention Act and obstructing the execution of hierarchical duties.
The Infectious Disease Prevention Act was newly established in September of the same year after this incident, which allows punishment for intentionally omission or failure to submit the membership list.