- DATE: Oct. 13, 2016
- Judicial Bench: Seoul Central District Criminal Court 15 Single Judge Choi Jong Jin
1) Lee, so-called, A charged with false accusation & attempted extortion, imprisoned
2) Hwang (mob) charged with attempted extortion, imprisoned
3) Lee (Defendant Lee’s boy friend) charged with attempted extortion, not imprisoned
Note 1: Mob Hwang was indicted for 2 other fraud cases so that all 3 cases were consolidated together. By the Korean Criminal Procedure Article 300, to reduce repetitive procedures, the court may order the consolidation of the oral proceedings (i.e., trial cases) upon request of a prosecutor or defense counsels or ex officio.
Note 2: Defendant Lee (1) and Defendant Hwang appeared in the court wearing their prison uniform. In Korea, most of the defendants are not supposed to be imprisoned before they are finally imposed with prison sentence. Only defendants who committed serious crimes are arrested and imprisoned. As you know, Defendant Lee’s bail application was also dismissed due to the possibility of the destruction of evidences and flight.
- Length: The trial took about 25 minutes
1) Confirm the identification of the defendants (The fact that Defendant Lee (1) and Defendant Lee (3) are living at the same address was pointed out by the Judge).
2) The prosecutors presented opening statements summarizing the nature of the cases.
3) The defendants denied all the charges.
Note 3: Statements of the nature of crimes and the evidences have been sent to the judge from the prosecutors. The defense counsel’s opinions on the charges against the defendants have also been submitted to the judge. In the first trial, those were orally confirmed. Please remember the nature of a public trial is to give an opportunity for the defendants to defend themselves and to have a fair trial. However, the judge is well aware of the cases based on the documents sent from the prosecutors so that the judge would not automatically accept the claims of the defense counsels.
Note 4: Defendant Lee (1) denied all the charges and claimed her previous false accusation against the victim (Yuchun). She also claimed that the police forced her to withdraw her report. But, such claim was totally baseless. She submitted her written complaint on June 10th and withdrew it on June 15th, both via her boyfriend, Defendant Lee (3). The police officially released the news on the withdrawal of the false report on the 15th, but Defendant Lee (3) said he submitted the written withdrawal to Gangnam Police Staff around 6:30 PM on the 14th in the interview with Sports Dongah (Sports Dongah (Exclusive), uploaded at 6:50 PM on June 14th2016). Considering the above, Defendant Lee (1) submitted the written complaint and the written withdrawal via her boyfriend, Defendant Lee (3). The date of her appearance at the Gangnam Police was afterwards. Therefore, she had not had any opportunity to be forced by the police between the filing and the withdrawal of her complaint. Furthermore, the police examined the application of arrest warrant for Defendant Lee (3), boyfriend and Defendant Hwang because they had not answered the summon by the police (Yonhap News, June 25th 2016) while having interviews with various media (Sports Kyung, Aug. 29th 2016) such as MBC and Channel A.
Note 5: Defendant Lee (1) and Defendant Lee (3) claimed that they had no knowledge about the attempted extortion. Accordingly, they claimed that their charges would be abetting of extortion if their involvement of this crime was recognized (Seoul Kyungje, Oct. 13th 2016), which is to be certainly less severely published.
4) The witnesses were selected by the judge. In this trial, all the witnesses including Yuchun were called by the defense counsels and the judge accepted.
Note 6: Please remember Yuchun is a victim of this case and also the person who filed reports against the defendants for false accusation and extortion. During the trial, the judge called Yuchun as victim while A and her accomplices as the defendants.
Note 7: Again, to give fair trial opportunities, the judges tend to accept the witnesses called by the defense counsels. However, in the following trials, the judge and the prosecutors can also question the witnesses. Thus, their charges will be proved in the process. The judge reminded the prosecutors that they could apply for a closed court if necessary. Thus, there is a high possibility that Yuchun’s testimony will be held in a closed court.
5) The 1st trial finished.
There is an organization called as the Sentencing Commission (http://sc.scourt.go.kr/sc/engsc/index.jsp) to offer separate guidelines for different crimes. According to this guideline, these defendants are fallen under the conditions of the aggravated sentencing for attempted extortion (http://sc.scourt.go.kr/sc/engsc/guideline/criterion_23/threat_01.jsp) and false accusation (http://sc.scourt.go.kr/sc/engsc/guideline/criterion_07/falsecharge_01.jsp).
- Attempted extortion
Special Sentencing Determinants
- Active Role in Organizing the Commission of the Crime
- Offense Caused Significant Damage to the Victim
- Habitual extortion or repeated extortion
Thus, it should be also examined whether any defendants may be fall into this category.
General Sentencing Determinants
- Two or More Co-Offenders
- Premeditated Crime
- Condemnable Motives
Definition: “The sentencing determinants are grouped into special and general sentencing determinants. Special sentencing determinants have important effect on sentencing and on determining the applicable sentencing zone as well. General sentencing determinants have less affect and cannot be used to determine the applicable zone, but can be used to decide a specific sentence within the sentencing zone.” From
- False Accusation
Special Sentencing Determinants
- Causes Serious Harm
According to PUNISHMENT OF VIOLENCES, ETC. ACT (https://goo.gl/t81HHQ in Korean and https://goo.gl/MD4246 in English), Article 2 (Assault, etc.), if two or more persons jointly commit certain crimes in which extortion is included in such category, the punishment shall be aggravated up to the half of the punishment prescribed in the respectively applicable provisions of the Criminal Act.
Trans by: Uttunfan via 6002SKY