Judge denies that he asked netizen to be indicted

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Judge denies that he asked netizen to be indicted

A judge accused of using his power to have a netizen indicted for defaming his wife in 2005 has failed to respond to a police summons for a third time, telling the police that he will cooperate with the investigation by submitting a written statement.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said yesterday Judge Kim Jae-ho, 50, of the Seoul Eastern District Court, submitted a written statement regarding the allegation of power abuse at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Kim was scheduled to appear at the agency at 10 a.m. yesterday. The police are currently reviewing Kim’s statement and will decide soon whether they will summon the judge again.

“Kim admitted in the statement that he called the prosecutor Park,” a spokesman of the police told the JoongAng Ilbo. “But he said the call was not a request to indict the netizen. He said he asked the prosecutor to remove the posts that had been defaming his wife [Na] on the Internet.”

On Friday, the police summoned Na Kyung-won, a former lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party, at 2 p.m. and questioned her on her involvement in the indictment made against the netizen.

“There was no such request,” Na told media before she entered the agency. “The investigation isn’t being operated fairly because the police are only summoning an incumbent judge and a prosecutor, but summoning no one from the ‘Naneun Ggomsuda’ podcast.”

The suspicion first surfaced in October last year during the Seoul mayoral by-election, which Na lost to Mayor Park Won-soon. It was brought up again on the political podcast “Naneun Ggomsuda,” (I’m a Petty-Minded Creep) earlier this month.

Na dropped out of the April general election race after prosecutor Park Eun-jeong, 40, of the Bucheon branch office of the Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office, admitted to receiving a request from Judge Kim via a written statement, which she submitted earlier this month.

“Judge Kim asked me to indict a netizen as soon as possible because his wife [Na Kyung-won] had been defamed with ridiculous allegations that the netizen made up,” the statement read.

“I put a Post-it note that marked ‘the case requested by Judge Kim Jae-ho’ because the case was about to be transferred to another prosecutor. I then called Kim and informed him of the change.”

By Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]
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