The Ministry of Justice clarified that speculations made by Park Beom-Gye (a member of the National Assembly) of Jung Myung Seok receiving preferential treatment in prison are untrue.
Uri News at 22:10, on November 5, 2013
Statement of Clarification
On October 25, 2013, Park Beom-Gye (a member of the National Assembly) questioned whether Jung (president and pastor of the Christian Gospel Mission, formerly known as JMS) was living a life of luxury, while receiving preferential treatment in prison. In response, Minister Hyang Gyo-Ahn from the Ministry of Justice issued a statement explaining that this was a misunderstanding and provided further explanatory materials.
The Ministry of Justice issued a statement of clarification regarding the speculation over preferential treatment. The Ministry gave the following statement: ‘The Seoul Newspaper published a report on October 25, 2013, which claimed that Jung Myung Seok had been preaching through the internet, while imprisoned. To this, we provide the following clarifications:
The Ministry of Justice issued the following corrections of facts. Park Beom-Gye’s quotes from the Seoul Newspaper Society’s interview of him about Jung Myung Seok receiving preferential treatment in prison are marked in red.
“From May 2009 to August 2013, Jung received 17 medical treatments outside of prison.
For prisoners without diseases, they would receive an average of 0.5 medical treatments per year. Compared to them, Jung received preferential treatment.”
– It was true that Jung Myung Seok received medical treatments 17 times outside of prison between May 2009 and August 2013. However, he had a periodontal disease which could not be treated inside the correctional institution. There was no choice but to provide him with medical treatment outside of prison.
– The statistical fact that prisoners receive medical treatment outside of prison 0.5 times per year is the result of the total frequency of treatments divided by the total prison population. In fact, for inmates suffering from diseases, the total number of medical treatments received outside of prison is much higher.
“Jung received frequent visits from his lawyer. His lawyer recorded his sermons and delivered them to Headquarter.
CGM posts Jung’s sermons twice a week on a JMS website. CGM has posted 302 sermons in total.”
-Jung Myung Seok’s lawyer visited him in prison a total of 74 times, during his trial for rape and fraud. However, it was impossible for the lawyer to have recorded sermons since prison guards standing nearby supervised everything. After December 2012, Jung’s lawyer no longer visited him.- After checking the facts, we found out that Jung had been writing sermons everyday sitting in his room and sending them outside. The church members would post those sermons on websites run by the CGM.
“Jung frequently left prison to meet church members under the pretext of receiving medical treatment. He also borrowed phones from 3 prison guards and made calls to the outside.”
There are more than 3 prison guards closely observing his medical treatments outside of prison. It was impossible for him to meet anyone other than medical practitioners.
“There needs to be an investigation to expose Jung’s life of luxury in prison, using his religious status.”
Daejeon prison undertook investigations of what really happened. Jung strongly denied borrowing phones from prison guards and making calls. Jung also stated that he was looking into taking legal action against news outlets that reported about him without checking.- The Daejon Prison Department, a higher-level office, is now investigating the claims by the newspaper regarding the borrowing and using of phones.
False Claims Hurt Jung Myung Seok’s Reputation
The question put forth by Mr Park Beom-Gye was irresponsible and groundless. His speculation of Jung receiving preferential treatment spread to certain news outlets, which harmed the reputation and the dignity of the Christian Gospel Mission and its church members.
People should not spread rumors based on unconfirmed reports absent of any substantial proof. People should not discriminate people based on religion.
Reporter Park Sang-Jin firstname.lastname@example.org in Our news
Publisher of Uri News, President of Korean Journalist Coalition
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