[SBS] Cho Guk, Yang Hyunsuk, and the truth behind the Prosecutorial Reform By Reporter Yim Chanjong (Nov. 11, 2019)
Yang Hyunsuk, a large shareholder of YG entertainment, appeared to the police on the 9th of this month. Reporters were waiting in front of the Wide Area Investigation Team of Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency, to which Mr. Yang appeared. Mr. Yang entered through the door after having left such a formal expression as "I will be sincere at the police investigation." Mr. Yang's appearance is such a familiar scene for us. When a famous person attends the investigation, the waiting reporters take the photos and record the video. When they ask a simple question about the allegations, he/she would utter the single phrase "I will be sincere at the police investigation" and enter. That was the scene at the "photo line," which has been repeated over hundreds of times.
However, in contrast to the case of Professor Jeong Gyeongshim, whose investigation has been treated in private thoroughly, there was almost no one who raised the issue about Yang's appearance to the police, which was live open to the public. It is even more so (unfair) that Jeong is a family member of Cho Guk, one of the most powerful persons of the nation, who used to take over the offices for the Chief Presidential Secretary of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Justice, and the Professor of Seoul National University while Yang or anyone in his family has never been in a public officer position. (Initially, the police requested Yang to appear on the 6th at 10 am as a suspect, which was informed to the reporters in advance. However, Yang did not appear on the 6th because he felt "burdened by the press," etc. Instead, he appeared on the 9th last Saturday. On the 9th, the exact appearance time had not been informed, so the reporters in charge were reportedly waiting for him in front of the door at around the expected time of appearance.)
Additionally, reviewing the police investigation process as to Mr. Yang, several customary practices were still found while they had been abolished or prohibited as the urgent reform, which was immediately carried out after many people raised their problems in dealing with the case of Cho Guk, former Minister (September 2019)
Another example is about night investigation According to the Police, Yang Hyunsuk attended the investigation on the 9th at about 10 am and completed it at around 11:50 pm. He was under investigation for approximately 13 hours and 50 minutes. In other words, he underwent'night investigation. However, unlike the investigation on those involved with the former Minister Cho Guk, the voice raising the issue (of night investigationwith Yang) is hardly heard. As for the issue of publicizing someone's status as a formal suspect, which was considered the most problematic with the investigation of the former Minister Cho Guk.
it is almost embarrassing to compare the two. It is extremely rare that the status of a formal suspect was publicized so widely as those of Mr. Yang Hyunsuk and Seungri, the singer who was with Yang's company. As for the case of Seungri, his status as a suspect was publicized at the investigation stage but the police forwarded his case to the prosecution with the non-indictment opinion as to the most part of the suspicions that were reported. The status as a suspect was, in fact, far from reaching the level of being convicted at the trial, was so fragmental to the extent that the police could hardly express their indictment opinion. Such incomplete "status as a suspect" was publicized and reported several times (which caused many people to believe they are guilty already) If such things had happened during Cho Guk's investigation, it wouldn't be difficult to guess what responses it would have drawn. However, hardly anyone among many, who had pointed out the problem of the prosecution's publicizing and media's reporting the fact of their status as a formal suspect, argued that we should also protect the human rights of Yang Hyunsuk & Seungri.
If the photo line, abrogation of night investigation, and prohibition of publicizing the fact of suspicion were truly for the protection of human rights, it is questionable why the (human rights) problems with Yang Hyunsuk and Seungri's cases have rarely been raised. What's more is that YHS and SR's cases, compared with the former Minister Cho Guk and his family, it is even harder to justify the partial limitation of rights for the reasons of public interest. They have never taken the positions in government, nor do they have any special relationships with high-ranking officials. In other words, if the urgent implementation of the reform was indeed for the protection of universal human rights, the same standard should have been applied to Mr. Yang Hyunsuk or the former President of DB group, Kim Joonki. Although for the cases of YHS, tc., it happened during the police investigation process (Cho Guk's family were investigated by the Prosecution), there is no reason to differentiate the suspects for the Police case from those for the Prosecution case in terms of the protection of human rights.
Translated by ikkie16
Notes written in code font are not in article, but added to make things clearer.