2019.02.15 | 김동국
A Jeju District Court judge on Thursday fined Governor Won Hee-ryong 800,000 won for pre-electioneering in the lead-up to last year’s elections. That fine is not enough to force him from his position. The prosecution is now considering an appeal. Joseph Kim reports.
Governor fined ￦800,000 for pre-electioneering
The 2nd Criminal Division of the Jeju District Court sentenced governor Won Hee-ryong to a fine of 800,000 won for pre-electioneering.
The sentence is smaller than what the Jeju District Prosecutor’s Office sought against him.
Prosecutors had sought a 1.5 million won fine.
Won Hee-ryong / Governor
Because of the court’s decision, I can better devote myself to my job as governor. I’ll do my best to repay everyone for their support.
<인터뷰 : 원희룡 / 제주특별자치도지사>
"이제 법원의 판결로 도정에 전념할 수 있게 됐기 때문에 도정 업무에 더 집중함으로써 여러분의 성원에 보답하도록 하겠습니다."
If the governor was fined one million won or more for violating the Public Official Election Act, he would have lost the governorship.
He will remain as governor, but still his pre-electioneering was unlawful.
When asked about the guilty verdict, he didn’t mention anything.
Won’s defense counsel acknowledged the proof provided by prosecutors and prosecutors’ claims about when, where and what Won did.
However, prosecutors and Won’s side held contrary opinions on the illegality of the same act.
### C.G IN
The court convicted the defendant saying that Won overstepped the line as a preliminary candidate.
However, it added that his speech was simply about his pledges, not black propaganda against opposing candidates and the pre-electioneering didn’t affect the election as the audience was small.
### C.G OUT
Now, the islanders’ eyes are on the Jeju District Prosecutor’s Office as prosecutors can lodge an appeal against the decision of the court in a week.
If prosecutors give up the appeal, the governor can keep his governorship.
Even if prosecutors appeal, Won will be able to serve most of term
Even if prosecutors file an appeal, Won can serve out most of his term as it takes several months or years for the case to be referred to the High Court and Supreme Court.
The court’s decision somewhat relieves the governor who has to settle a number of pending issues including the foreigner-only for-profit hospital and the second airport.
[Reporter] Joseph Kim
[Camera] Hyeon Gwang-hoon
[CG] Kim Eun-kyo
Prosecutors have announced that they will thoroughly review the written judgment and prudently decide whether they will file an appeal or not.
Joseph Kim, KCTV