The lower courts unanimously decide to deny preservation of digital evidence deemed crucial by lawyers leading cases on the general election fraud allegations
SEOUL, KOREA, June 24, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — The recent general election in South Korea has been fraught with fraud allegations and more than 137 election-related lawsuits have been filed. The lack of coverage by the media has led many in Korea to turn to the courts for impartial proceedings to help uncover the exact schemes and the malicious actors who may have defrauded the voters.
However, the activists and concerned citizens’ hopes for fair trials may have been dashed by the recent accusations that the Supreme Court meddled in the lower courts’ affairs.
At the heart of the issue is the preservation of election-related materials. According to the 4.15 Election Frauds Investigation Lawyers Association (EFILA), a group of lawyers leading many of the most closely followed lawsuits against the National Election Commission (NEC), the digital evidence, such as the vote sorting and counting machines, corresponding laptops connected to them, and data stored on servers and routers used in the early voting process, are key evidence in their lawsuits.
But in late May, the judges uniformly ruled to deny the preservation of many of the evidence that the lawyers deem crucial, effectively gutting the lawsuits of materials to support their claims that there was digital manipulation in the general election.
Even though the lawsuits have been filed separately and hence the trials for the preservation of evidence conducted separately, their decisions were identical nationwide. The EFILA claims that the uniformity in the courts’ decisions to specifically exclude key evidence essential in their lawsuits suggest a systematic intervention in the trial process by the Supreme Court and its Chief Justice Kim Myeong-soo. It further argues that the judges knew of the decisions of other courts before they were made public.
The group accused Chief Justice Kim of violating the Public Official Election Act and unconstitutionally intervening in the lower courts’ jurisdictions, thereby abusing the authority of his office.
A few days before the unanimous decision by the courts, it was reported that the outgoing Chairman of National Assembly Hee-sang Moon, President Moon Jae-in, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Kim, the Constitutional Court’s Chief Nam-suk Yu, Prime Minister Sye-kyun Chung, and the Commissioner of the NEC Soon-il Kwon met for dinner in Hannam-dong, Seoul.
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