Shame on chief justiceThe opposition People Power Party (PPP) released a 198-page white paper to detail alleged wrongdoings of Supreme Court Chief Justice Kim Myeong-soo over the last four years. Lawmakers from the opposition have been rotating in a one-person protest in front of the Supreme Court building demanding his resignation for more than 70 days. But it is still shocking to see his suspected wrongdoings fill a book.
Kim Gi-hyeon, floor leader of the PPP, lambasted that he was appalled to discover the chief of the top court having ethical standards of less than the average of ordinary people. “It is truly pitiful to see the chief justice keeping to his seat without any shame and remorse.” The follies of Kim are too big to dismiss them simply as a moral lapse.
Appointments based on loyalty to the government, court rulings in favor of government policy, and lies related to the impeachment of a sitting judge are just the tip of the iceberg. The white paper claimed that cynicisms are rampant even within the court as judges had never experienced such a corrupt chief justice.
The book claimed that in 2018, Kim’s wife had hosted a dinner banquet for 10 members of Hanjin Group’s legal team where their daughter-in-law worked as a lawyer at the chief justice’s official residence. Hanjin handed over a one-foot-long aircraft model as a gift, according to the PPP. Chief Justice Kim had found Cho Hyun-ah — who were tried for her infamous order to turn the airplane back to the JFK airport and fire a flight attendant for the way her nut snack was served — not guilty for forcing the air route and ruled a two-year suspension on a 10-month jail term in late 2017.
Kim’s son and his wife, both lawyers, lived in the chief justice’s residence for 15 months while they won their bid for a pricey apartment in Seoul. Whether or not he was directly involved in the affair, Kim must answer for the family misconduct. The Supreme Court has not responded to the PPP’s demand for confirmation more than two months ago.
Even veteran intellectual and literary scholar Kim Byung-ik said that he had never seen “such an arrogant type with no sight of self-reflection. Cho Kuk is not the only one. The chief justice admits he lied, but does not do anything about it.”
On the website of the Supreme Court, Kim is introduced as the chief justice who’s doing his best to earn true admiration and trust from the people since taking office in September 2017. He is taking people as fools.