2014 Now in Korea: The Appellate Court
Südkorea, UPP-Case, 2013f
Appellate Court Strikes Conspiracy from the "Insurrection Conspiracy Case"
Task Force against ‘Conspiracy of an Insurrection’ fabricated by NIS and Political Repression
On August 11, 2014, the Seoul High Court acquitted Representative Lee Seok-ki and his co-defendants of conspiracy charges in the Lee Seok-ki insurrection conspiracy case. In other words, the 'conspiracy' disappeared from the so-called insurrection conspiracy case. However, the court up-held the guilty verdicts on charges of inciting an insurrection and the violation of the National Security Act and handed down an unusually heavy sentence of nine years of imprisonment to Rep. Lee. Both the prosecution and defense balked at the appellate court's decisions and filed an appeal. Accordingly, the case is now in the hands of the Supreme Court, slated to reach its final decision by the end of the year or early next year.
This is the first insurrection conspiracy case since South Korea's democratization kicked off in 1987. It was extremely controversial from the start when the National Intelligence Service (NIS) did not hesitate to carry out massive raids and arrests immediately after announcing the case about a year ago. Those arrested were not a few underground extremists as in past national security cases, but members and officials of an in-parliament opposition party (six seats) which had been the most vocal critic of the governement, including an incumbent lawmaker, Representative Lee Seok-Ki. This party, the Unified Progressive Party (UPP), released a statement titled "The Truth behind Lee Seok-ki Scandal” (October 2013, see http://goupp.org/?s=u2G9NirG) questioning whether Rep. Lee had indeed conspired an insurrection and arguing that the case was an extension of the Park Geun-hye's careful power-consolidating strategy.