S Korean Unified Progressive Party (UPP) lawmaker Lee Seok-ki sentenced to 12 years in prison on insurrection charge [The Hankyoreh / 한겨레]

Convicted on anonymous testimony??? Kangaroo court witch-hunt BS! Free Lee Seok-ki! – Zuo Shou

Feb 18, 2014

* Court accepts most evidence from politicized National Intelligence Service and its unnamed informer *

By Hong Yong-duk, south Gyeonggi correspondent

A court found Unified Progressive Party (UPP) lawmaker Lee Seok-ki guilty of plotting an insurrection to overthrow the government, sentencing him to 12 years in prison and banning him from running for office for 10 years. It has been 34 years since then-opposition leader Kim Dae-jung was convicted of the crime.

The court also convicted the other six defendants – including Kim Hong-yeol, chair of the Gyeonggi Province branch of the UPP – of most of the charges they were facing and sentenced them to 4-7 years in prison and banned them from running for office for 4-7 years.

On Feb. 17, Kim Jeong-woon, presiding judge of the 12th criminal division of the Suwon District Court, gave Lee a harsh sentence: 12 years in prison, and a 10-year ban on political activity. Lee had been charged with plotting an insurrection, inciting others to participate in the plot, and violating the National Security Law.

For the other defendants, prison sentences and bans on political activities were 7 years for Kim Hong-yeol, Lee Sang-ho, Cho Yang-won, and Kim Geun-rae, 6 years for Hong Sun-seok, and 4 years for Hong Dong-geun.

During sentencing on Monday, the court sided with the prosecutors in finding Lee and the other defendants guilty of most of the charges – including plotting an insurrection. “They committed the grave crime of [plotting] an armed insurrection in the middle of Seoul,” the judge said. The sentence came five months after the National Intelligence Service (NIS) took its investigation public with a raid on the houses and offices of ten individuals, including Lee, on Aug. 28, 2013.

The main question under debate in the case was whether there had actually been a conspiracy to carry out an insurrection. Throughout the trial, the prosecutors and the attorneys for the defense debated whether the objective of the 130 members of the so-called ‘revolutionary organization’ (RO) – who met twice in May 2013 in Gonjiam, Gyeonggi Province, and the Mapo district of Seoul – intended to subvert the constitution. The debate concerned whether the members were part of an organization that had the specific purpose of plotting an insurrection; whether the timing and method of this alleged insurrection were specifically defined; and whether the members had deliberated and agreed to this.

On Monday, the court came to the conclusion that the testimony and evidence of the [unnamed] informer satisfied all of the conditions for a conspiracy to overthrow the government…

…Throughout the trial, the question of whether the RO really existed was debated. On this point, the court ruled, “the 130 people [who attended the two meetings] were members of the RO organization, which had a command system that was grounded in juche ideology.” While the prosecutors referred to the RO as “an underground revolutionary organization that had accepted juche ideology,” the counsel for the defense countered that this was a fiction that the NIS had concocted from conjecture and the testimony of its [unnamed] informer…

…the court accepted the majority of the key evidence submitted by the prosecutors, including [disputed] recordings, the [similarly disputed] transcript of the recordings, and the testimony of the NIS’s [anonymous] informer. During the trial, questions had been raised about the admissibility of the transcript of the recording of the May meeting, which the NIS had submitted. There were 720 errors in the transcript, with “shrine at Jeoldu Mountain” being changed to “shrine of the decisive struggle”. The two phrases sound somewhat similar in Korean.

…The NIS investigation [allegedly] began with information provided by the [anonymous] informer.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/624674.html

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