Standing above the law

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Standing above the law

The administration of South Gyeongsang Province could be disturbed due to the vacuum of an elected chief until the next local elections in June next year after its Governor Kim Kyoung-soo went back to jail after the Supreme Court’s final guilty ruling on his involvement in online opinion rigging to back presidential candidate Moon Jae-in in the 2017 by-election. Local residents had to suffer the shame and discomfort of going through a by-election after a series of exits by their heads — Ahn Hee-jung of South Chungcheong Province, Oh Geo-don of Busan, and Park Won-soon of Seoul — over scandals and criminal charges.

Since Kim’s crime is connected to the 2017 presidential election, the Blue House and ruling Democratic Party (DP) should all be remorseful. But the DP has been criticizing the top court’s ruling. Kim Doo-kwan, a presidential contender from the DP, said the ruling has too many problems because it is entirely based on the testimonies of the ringleader Kim Dong-won (better known as his online alias Druking).

After online opinion rigging colluders were found to be pro-government figures, the government’s allies are attacking the court instead. Kim Ou-joon was the first person who raised the suspicion about macro programming behind the unusual online opinion movements. Then-DP chief Choo Mi-ae urged an investigation by the law enforcement office. But surprisingly, Gov. Kim’s name appeared during the investigation. He was pronounced guilty throughout the lengthy three-trial process.

Three of the four justices on the bench of the Supreme Court were actually recommended by Chief Justice Kim Myeong-soo named by President Moon Jae-in. The top court reached a conclusion without going through a unanimous ruling by 13 chief justices. That suggests the bench had no difference in their opinion. Challenging such a sure result is absurd.

Even the leading presidential candidates — Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung and former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon — have joined the attack on the top court to stoke distrust in the judiciary, just because they don’t like the ruling.

The DP had railroaded a special law to establish the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials. But after the new office began questioning Cho Hee-yeon, liberal superintendent of education in Seoul, DP officials all attacked it.

Upon hearing his ruling from the top court, Kim said he would bear faith till the end since truth always comes back no matter how far it is thrown. DP officials must learn that if you spit while lying down it will always fall back onto your face no matter how far you spit.
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