Senior judge under fire for hundreds of biased posts

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Senior judge under fire for hundreds of biased posts

An incumbent chief judge has caused a stir within the legal community after authorities discovered that he had been making politically biased, anonymous comments under news articles on various online portal sites since 2008.

The senior judge, who belongs to a local district court around the capital area, is alleged to have used five different user IDs on Internet portals like Naver and Daum to post comments siding with conservatives and condemning liberals and the main opposition party, sources acknowledged Wednesday.

Authorities have already confirmed that he wrote more than 2,000 comments.

“He has admitted to posting controversial comments with multiple IDs on multiple occasions,” an official with the Supreme Court said. “He says he only expressed his personal thoughts without taking into account his social status as a judge, given that anonymity was guaranteed.”

The official added that it was unclear how the senior judge’s personal activities became public, though the Supreme Court will “take appropriate measures,” which will include an investigation into whether he violated judicial and ethical codes.

In his online commentary, the senior judge displayed an obvious conservative political bias, responding in some posts to rumors leaked in an internal Blue House report that stated that Chung Yoon-hoi, a former aide to President Park Geun-hye, had covertly used his influence to intervene in state affairs.

That accusation, the judge argued, was entirely fabricated.

In regard to the three presidential secretaries tied to Chung, who were suspected by the media to have meddled in human resources matters at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the judge wrote, “There is no need for an investigation [into this matter]. The prosecution investigates when crimes are committed, not to assuage the public’s curiosity.”

He also appears to have habitually attacked people from Jeolla province, a historically liberal region that is perceived by many as being anti-government, and defended strong-arm prosecutorial investigations under the Park Chung Hee administration.

The controversy surrounding the incumbent judge comes less than a week after another judge was arrested for receiving hundreds of millions of won in bribes from a renowned loan shark.

BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]




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