Media reports distort the facts by claiming Jung Myung Seok (President of JMS) was living a life of luxury in prison.
Uri News (Our News) at 22:18 on October 25, 2013
Park Beom-Gye’s False Claim
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) was living a life of luxury in prison and submitted materials supporting his 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 (over 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.
Further Accusations Against Jung Myung Seok
Mr Park also stated that Jung delivered 302 Sunday messages through his frequent visitations. He also claimed that Jung made frequent cell phone calls in blind areas 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 exceeded the normal amount of visits the government allowed. The prison warden allowed Jung to have special visits on a few occasions., but it was all within proper regulations. 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.
Why Jung Myung Seok’s Lawyer Visited Him in Prison
Mr Park also claimed that Jung’s lawyer, a member of JMS made frequent visits to Jung. He claimed that the lawyer recorded Jung’s words and delivered them to CGM 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 the court fully acquitted Jung. They closed the investigations into Jung in 2012. During that time, Jung’s lawyer visited him, as allowed by laws and regulations, for defending Jung.
Since someone had accused him, even as a prisoner, he had the power to meet with his lawyer and discuss legal matters with him. His lawyer did not record his preaching and deliver them to headquarters. The informant stated that this was completely false.
Jung Myung Seok Obeyed Strict Prison Rules
Finally, Mr Park asserted that Jung frequently ventured outside 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. It was impossible for him to meet his church members. The informant insisted that Jung had met church members while receiving medical treatment. He also insisted that Jung should disclose the details of who escorted him, who he met, and the date times of those meetings.
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 Mr Park’s wrongful accusation against President Jung were made under the protection of parliamentary privilege. His assertions could have been 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