Lee Man-hee, the chairman of the South Korean “Sincheondi” church, who was indicted for the “Interference Prevention Act”, was acquitted by the court of first instance on the 13th.
This verdict caused strong doubts and dissatisfaction from South Korean netizens and some groups, saying that “the South Korean judicial system is rotten.”
In August last year, Li Wanxi was arrested and prosecuted by South Korean prosecutors on suspicion of obstructing the Anti-epidemic Law and was granted bail in November.
According to Yonhap News Agency’s report on the 13th, the Suwon District Court stated on the same day that the epidemic prevention authorities required the “Xintiandi” church to submit the facilities and the list of believers.
It can only be regarded as data collection and cannot be regarded as epidemiological investigation work.
It cannot be punished as a violation of the “Infectious Disease Prevention Law”.
The court stated that according to the “Infectious Disease Prevention Law”, the epidemiological investigation work was carried out to grasp the scale of infectious disease patients, trace the source of infection and other information, and investigate the information related to the patient, the date and location of onset, and the cause of infection. The content submitted by the “Xintiandi” church requested by the epidemic prevention authorities does not fall within the scope of epidemiological investigations in the legal sense.
Lee Man-hee is 89 years old. When the prosecutor first summoned him in July last year, it was reported that he was unwell and feared that he would not be interrogated for a long time.
However, Yonhap TV captured an interesting picture on the 13th: from attending the trial to walking out of the court. Li Wanxi, who was in a wheelchair, stood up and “walked upright” when he got home.
South Korea’s “Dong-A Ilbo” stated that the “Xintiandi” victims who reported Lee Man-hee to the prosecutor held a press conference that day to strongly condemn the court’s decision, saying it was “a heavy blow” to the families of the victims.
South Korean netizens also almost overwhelmingly condemned the court’s decision. According to the Yonhap News Agency, the message with the most likes was “South Korea’s biggest abuse is the Ministry of Justice”, “The Ministry of Justice is the main culprit in the spread of the epidemic,” and “It can be seen that both the judge and the Ministry of Justice are rotten.”
In addition to being not guilty in the “obstruction of epidemic prevention case,” the court ruled that Lee Man-hee was suspected of embezzling church funds of 5.2 billion won for construction of private residences, embezzling church funds of 600 million won in the name of overseas speeches, etc., and suspected of obstructing public affairs.
He was guilty and sentenced to 3 years in prison and 4 years of probation.