The Ministry of Justice has recently distributed data explaining the claim made by Park Beom-gye, a member of the Democratic Party, about JMS president, Jung Myeong Seok’s, special privileges, saying, “There is a possibility that a misunderstanding will arise.”
On October 24th, Congressman Park , a democrat of the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee and inspector of the administration of the Daejeon District Public Prosecutor’s office, submitted a claim based on circumstantial evidence, stating that the president of the International Christian Union, Jung Myeong Seok was caught receiving special privileges during his ten-year sentence and imprisonment.
According to Congressman Park, the special privileges that President Jung received during his imprisonment were: special medical treatment benefits from outside facilities; frequent interviews with his lawyer, who recorded sermons, delivered them to the people who work on website operated by JMS, and posted the documented sermons on the web; communication with church members, using the outside medical treatments as excuses; and a phone that was borrowed frequently from a prison officer in order to make calls to [people] outside of the prison.
Congressman Park insisted that an examination into the truth of the claim – that [President Jung] has a luxurious life in prison because of his religious status – was needed.
However, after the investigation, the Ministry of Justice made a statement on October 25th, saying that the suspicion surrounding President Jung’s luxurious life in prison, which is related to the claim made by Congressman Park, had “the potential to cause misunderstanding.” They distributed data for the purpose of explanation.
About the claim made by Congressman Park regarding the special privilege of receiving medical treatment from outside facilities, the Ministry of Justice explained, “While it is true that President Jung received medical treatment from outside [the prison] 17 times between May, 2009 and August, 2013, because he had a chronic gum disease that was difficult to treat at the correction facility, it was inevitable that he would receive medical treatment from the outside.”
The Ministry of Justice also stated, “The statistic that a regular prisoner receives medical treatment from outside [the prison] 0.5 times each year is a simple numerical value obtained by dividing the total number of cases of medical treatment received from outside facilities by the total number of prisoners. In addition, the number of cases of medical treatment being received from outside facilities is actually much higher for prisoners suffering from disease.”
Regarding the claim that President Jung’s lawyer interviewed him frequently, recorded sermons, delivered them to the church, and posted the documented sermons on a website operated by JMS, the Ministry of Justice said, “Jung Myeong Seok was interviewed by the lawyer a total of 74 times during the period of his trial for rape and fraud, but the interviews occurred under the watch of the prison officer, who was within eyesight. It is impossible to record every occurrence, and, after December, 2012, when the trial ended, there were no more interviews with the lawyer.”
Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice added, “In the process of determining truth, we confirmed that President Jung wrote sermons inside his cell in the form of letters and mailed them out, and then the church members posted [them] on the websites of Christian Gospel Mission as well as other sites.”
Regarding the claim made by Congressman Park that “President Jung contacted his church members using the outside medical treatment facilities as an excuse”, the Ministry of Justice explained emphasizing, “It is impossible for anyone besides the medical staff to contact people from the outside because the outside medical treatments are carried out under the strict and safe custody of more than three prison officers.”
Also, regarding the claim that he borrowed a phone from a prison officer and made frequent outbound calls, the Ministry of Justice said, “As a result of the investigation into the truth of Daejeon prison, President Jung has strongly denied receiving a phone from a prison officer and using it and has stated that he will consider taking legal action against the media reporters who reported without confirming the truth.”
Regarding Congressman Park ’s assertion that the investigation into the truth of the claims regarding a luxurious life in prison due to religious status the Ministry of Justice said, “The higher authority, Daejeon Local Correction Agency, is currently investigating the truth regarding the things related to the report concerning [President Jung] receiving a phone and the suspicion that [he] used it.”