Media reports about Jung Myung Seok (President of JMS) living in luxury in prison are a distortion
Uri News (Our News) at 22:18 on October 25, 2013
On October 24, 2013, Park Beom-Gye, a member of the Legislative and Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly (the Democratic Party, west-Eul, Daejeon) issued a statement insisting that President Jung Myung Seok of the Christian Gospel Mission (more commonly known as JMS) is living a life of luxury in prison and submitted materials supporting that assertion. The statement was made in the course of carrying out audits at the High Public Prosecutors’ Office. However, in a press release on October 25, Haneulbit released a statement clarifying that Mr Park’s allegations were not factual, rather a distortion that was incorrect and skewed.
Park Beom-Gye submitted the results of a survey of a government audit to the National Assembly. The results claimed that President Jung Myung Seok had been healthy prior to imprisonment, and despite, he had received medical treatment outside of prison 17 times over 4 years. President Jung had never received preferential treatment in the form of external medical treatments while imprisoned. He received external treatment due to a serious gum disease. He is an elderly person (69 years old) and suffers from a serious gum disease, which kept him from eating meals. The disease would cause significant difficulties for his life in prison, if untreated throughout his 10 years of imprisonment. The prison he is at does not have the required equipment for dental treatment. His medical treatment was provided within lawful bounds and consistent with regulations.
Mr Park also stated that Jung was allowed frequent visitations, through which he delivered 302 ‘Sunday messages’ and that Jung was able to make frequent cell phone calls in the blind area of the prison. However, an informant exposed Mr Park’s allegations as absolutely false. The informant stated that President Jung had not delivered Sunday messages through the frequent visits, and had not made frequent cell phone calls in the blind area of the prison.
The informant also stated that Jung was only allowed the normal number of visits given to all prisoners. He was allowed special visits on a few occasions, which were granted within the competence of the prison governor. As for the Sunday messages, President Jung wrote his sermon manuscripts in prison and sent them out through the normal mail delivery system. A leader of CGM would then receive his manuscripts, type them out and use them for preaching. Park Beom-Gye also claimed that Jung , in allowing him to post his sermons on CGM intranet, had violated a law on the execution of prison sentence and prisoner treatment. This was also untrue. The informant clarified that Jung did not borrow cell phones from three prison guards and make phone calls in the blind area of the prison.
Mr Park also claimed that Jung’s lawyer, also a member of JMS (known as Lawyer Deacon) made frequent visits to Jung, recorded his words and delivered them to headquarters. In fact, President Jung was facing wrongful accusations made in 2010 by slanderers who were opposing the CGM. Prosecutors had investigated the accusations and Jung was full acquitted, and the investigations were closed in 2012. During that time, Jung’s lawyer visited him, as allowed by laws and regulations, for defending Jung.
In this case, a prisoner was facing charges, and as usual, he was allowed a lawyer to discuss his legal matters with him. His lawyer did not record his preaching and deliver them to headquarters. The informant stated that this was completely false.
Finally, Mr Park asserted that Jung frequented ventured outside of the prison to meet church members, under the pretext of obtaining medical treatment. However, Jung was strictly subject to prison rules, while external medical treatment. Furthermore, his trips to receiving medical treatment was a high security matter, which made it impossible for him to meet church members. The informant insisted that if Jung had met church members, while receiving medical treatment, details of who escorted him, who he met and the date times of those meetings must be disclosed.
Park Beom-Gye posts tweets on his twitter account every day. However, messages about President Jung stopped as of 10:22pm on October 25. It is possible that Mr Park made these claims without conclusive proof.
It is unclear whether the Mr Park’s wrongful accusation against President Jung were made under the protection of parliamentary privilege, or whether his assertions about Jung’s life of luxury was based on nameless sources giving rumors absent of clear evidence. A series of news reports about Jung living a life of luxury in prison would damage his image.
If the press release issued by Haneulbit is correct, this may result in a significant controversy over Mr Park’s parliamentary privilege. Mr Park had defamed an innocent person in putting this innocent person at the same level as the wife of the chairman of a famous flour company, who was admitted to a VIP room and lived in luxury in hospital under a fake diagnosis.
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Reporter Park Sang-Jin837@daum.net