Social attention is focused on the chief judge in charge of warrants, Yoo Chang-hoon (50, 29th class of the Judicial Research and Training Institute) of the Seoul Central District Court, who dismissed the arrest warrant for Lee Jae-myeong, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, on the 27th.
Chief Judge Yoo is evaluated as a “meticulous principled” within the court. A legal official told Yonhap News that he was “a warm, unwavering and solid judge” and that “he must have carefully reviewed the records and made a careful decision.”
This official said, “As I am in charge of many cases that attract social attention, the position of a warrant judge at the Seoul Central District Court is one of the most intense and stressful positions in the court.” He added, “I took that position because I had trust in him as a person.”
Chief Judge Yoo is the most senior among the three judges in charge of warrants at the Seoul Central District Court, and is the most senior at the Judicial Research and Training Institute. He took charge of this representative case in accordance with the principle that the judge in charge will hear the arrest warrant request on the day the court receives it.
Chief Judge Yoo, who is from Daejeon, graduated from Seoul National University’s Department of Public Law and passed the 39th Bar Examination in 1997. After that, he worked at the Uijeongbu branch of the Seoul District Court먹튀검증 the Suncheon branch of the Gwangju District Court, a trial researcher at the Supreme Court, a chief judge in charge of warrants at the Incheon District Court, and a chief judge at the Seoul Western District Court. Since February of this year, he has been working as a warrant judge at the Seoul Central District Court.
He was also the judge in charge in February, immediately after taking office, when the prosecution requested the ‘first arrest warrant’ for CEO Lee on charges of breach of trust related to suspicions of preferential treatment for the development of Daejeon-dong. At that time, the motion to arrest Representative Lee was rejected in the National Assembly, so the warrant was automatically dismissed.
Chief Judge Yoo later accused Kang Rae-gu (58), a former standing audit committee member of the Korea Water Resources Corporation, and Park Yong-soo (53), a former aide to former leader Song Young-gil, who are key suspects in the Democratic Party of Korea’s ‘convention money envelope suspicion’, saying, “There is concern about the destruction of evidence.” “They were arrested side by side.
In June, the first request for an arrest warrant for former special prosecutor Park Young-soo (71), who is suspected of being part of the so-called ‘5 billion club’, was filed as “a dispute over whether the suspect was relevant to his duties, whether he actually received money or valuables, and whether the promise to provide money and valuables was established.” He dismissed it, saying, “There is room for it.” Afterwards, the prosecution detected additional charges by former special prosecutor Park and requested a new warrant, and Chief Judge Yoon Jae-nam of the same court issued the warrant citing concerns about destruction of evidence.
Chief Judge Yoo dismissed Representative Lee’s arrest warrant on this day and explained the basis for his decision with an unusually long reason totaling 892 characters. The decision to dismiss the warrant was largely influenced by the judgment that “it is difficult to determine concerns about destruction of evidence,” and the fact that Representative Lee is the current representative of the main opposition party appears to have been one of the grounds for the judgment.
Chief Judge Yoo said, “Considering the situation of the suspect who is attending a separate trial and the fact that he is the current representative of a political party and is subject to public surveillance and criticism, it is difficult to conclude that there is a risk of destruction of evidence,” adding, “It is difficult to conclude that there is a risk of destruction of evidence.” “It is difficult to believe that there is a reason or need for detention,” he concluded.
Chief Judge Yoo made different judgments for each charge regarding the criminal facts applied by the prosecution to Representative Lee. Regarding the bribery charge related to the alleged remittance to North Korea, it was judged that the explanation for the charge was insufficient, saying, “There appears to be room for dispute regarding the suspect’s awareness, collusion, and degree of involvement.” On the contrary, regarding the charge of perjury, he said, “It appears to have been proven.”
Regarding the charge of breach of trust related to the Baekhyeon-dong suspicion, he said, “There is considerable suspicion that the suspect was involved in the exclusion of Seongnam Urban Development Corporation from participating in the project, considering the suspect’s status, related approval documents, and statements of those involved.” “At this point in time, when direct evidence on this matter is lacking, it is difficult to conclude that the suspect’s defense right to refute it from a factual or legal perspective is excluded.”