The first trial has been concluded in two years and two months since media reports in September 2021 raised the first suspicion. The verdict will likely come out in January next year at the earliest.
The Senior Prosecutor’s Office asked Chief Prosecutor Sohn to be sentenced to a total of five years in prison in a final hearing held at the 27th Criminal Agreement Department (Chief Judge Kim Ok-gon) of the Seoul Central District Court on the 27th.
Prosecutors at the Public Official Election Act demanded three years in prison for violating the Public Official Election Act and two years for other charges, including leaking official secrets. This is in accordance with the separate declaration under the Public Official Election Act.
“As long as the defendant, a public official, delivered a complaint to Representative Kim Woong and reached the election committee, the risk of affecting the election has already occurred,” the Senior Civil Servant Corruption Investigations Unit said. “There is also ample room for use in the future United Party election strategy with the delivered data.”
Prosecutors are required to be more politically neutral than ordinary public officials, and are responsible for more strict observance in public office elections, he said. “It is an act of disorder of the national flag that has undermined public trust in investigative agencies by forgetting such responsibility.”
He also said, “We do not even recognize the transfer of files until the trial, but we do not even make a reasonable excuse and reflect on it. If the national discipline is not properly established with strict punishment, the act of abusing the prosecution’s authority will be repeated, and the future of the country will be bleak.” 스포츠토토
Prosecutor Sohn refused to answer all questions from the Senior Civil Servant Corruption Investigations Unit, saying in the defendant’s interrogation prior to the sentence, “Please understand that it is difficult to make a statement because impeachment is expected in the near future.”
However, the court responded to the court’s questioning, saying, “I think it has been confirmed to some extent that the relevant data, including the draft of the complaint that started from the defendant, were delivered to Cho Sung-eun through Rep. Kim Woong.”
Chief Prosecutor Sohn maintained his position to deny the allegations, saying he did not remember exchanging documents at the time. At that time, all reports that sided with certain political parties were sent back, and he protested that it was impossible to remember after a considerable period of time because there were many reports a day.
Regarding the failure to unlock the password of the cell phone confiscated by the Senior Civil Servant Corruption Investigations Unit, he claimed, “I didn’t use it then (2020), so there is no reason to release it,” adding, “If I had solved the legitimate document because it was a judge’s inspection document, I would have been charged with speculation or speculation.”
He reiterated that he had never spoken with Representative Kim Woong about the accusation, saying, “If the accusation is pursued, why would you give it to Kim Woong when the father-in-law was also exempted?”
Asked by the court if there is a third party involved in the draft of the complaint, Prosecutor Sohn denied, saying, “I have sent data like this to external colleagues or those who are dissatisfied with the prosecution, so it can go around.”
In April 2020, just before the general election, Sohn was accused of exchanging images of accusations and real-name rulings against figures from the ruling camp through Telegram messenger, with Kim Woong, then a candidate for the Future United Party (the predecessor of the People’s Power).
The main point of the allegation is that the prosecution instigated the Future United Party to file a complaint against former lawmaker Choi Kang-wook, former supreme council member Hwang Hee-seok, and then chairman of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation through the delivery of the complaint.
The Senior Prosecutor’s Office indicted Chief Prosecutor Sohn without detention in May last year, saying that after an eight-month investigation, it was confirmed that the complaint and judgment in question were delivered through Telegram Messenger in the order of Chief Prosecutor Sohn → Rep. Kim → Rep. Cho Seong-eun.
At the time of the investigation, President Yoon Suk Yeol and Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon were also indicted, but they were cleared of charges.
The Senior Civil Servant Corruption Investigations Unit judged that Kim was suspected of conspiring, but transferred him to the prosecution because he was a civilian at the time and could not be prosecuted under the Senior Civil Servant Corruption Investigations Unit Act. However, the prosecution did not indict Kim in September last year.