The JTBC tablet defamation appeal criminal trial is set to resume with its 12th hearing on May 30th

JTBC tablet defamation criminal trial resumed after two years... When will the appeal that continued for six years end?

MediaWatch Editorial Department 2024.05.16 18:02:10

(May 3, 2024) After a prolonged hiatus due to disputes over the assessment of tablet devices and the copying of imaging files, the criminal trial involving the JTBC tablet report defamation case is set to recommence nearly two years later. The Criminal Division 4-2 of the Seoul Central District Court of Appeals, led by Judges Lee Tae-woo, Lee Hoon-jae, and presiding judge Yang Ji-jung, has issued a summons to the defendants, including Byun Hee-jae, Hwang Ui-won, Lee Woo-hee, and Oh Moon-young, scheduling the 12th trial for May 30 at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 422 of the Seoul Central District Court's West Building.

Previously, the appeals court conducted its 10th hearing on April 6, 2021, followed by the 11th hearing on August 19, 2022. However, proceedings hit a snag during the 10th trial when the newly appointed presiding judge, Jeon Yeon-sook, overturned the previous court's ruling on the copying of tablet imaging files. This prompted the defendants to file a motion for the judge's recusal. Subsequently, the new presiding judge, Lee Tae-woo, faced criticism for attempting to compel witnesses to testify against former Blue House administrator Kim Han-soo without prior examination of the tablet, resulting in another motion for recusal and further delay in proceedings.

Leading up to the upcoming trial, Byun Hee-jae said: “Recently, scientific and objective evidence confirmed the manipulation of the timing of the L-shaped lock pattern on the 'Choi Soon-sil tablet'. Moreover, Jang Si-ho's admission to tampering with the tablet will soon come to light. Should the court attempt to conceal the truth of this manipulation, even under these circumstances, it risks triggering a special prosecutor or special investigation.”

MediaWatch Editorial Department

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