[Exclusive] JTBC Manipulated Lock Pattern on Choi Soon-sil's Tablet... False Claims of Acquisition Confirmed

Was the lock pattern set before the tablet was acquired? It wasn't Choi Seo-won(Choi Soon-sil) who set it, but rather the JTBC broadcasting company! The revelation suggests the tablet acquisition history was falsified

MediaWatch Editorial Department mediasilkhj@gmail.com 2024.05.16 18:02:19

(May 3, 2024) The so-called “Choi Soon-sil tablet” is the smoking gun of the Park Geun-hye administration's “manipulation of state affairs” scandal. Conclusive evidence has recently emerged showing that the original reporting party fabricated the actual user of the device and the circumstances of its acquisition.

On May 3, Byun Hee-jae, CEO of MediaWatch, citing a forensic appraisal certificate (dated May 1, 2024) from the Korean Cyber Forensic Professionals Association (KCFPA) said, “We have confirmed that the L-shaped lock pattern on the ‘Choi Soon-sil Tablet’ reported by JTBC was not originally set, but was manipulated during JTBC's storage period.”

The L-shaped lock pattern was manipulated in both the 'Choi Soon-sil Tablet' and the 'Second Choi Soon-sil Tablet’

“The L-shaped lock pattern was touted as pivotal evidence suggesting that the devices claimed to have been obtained by JTBC Broadcasting and Special Prosecutors Yoon Seok-yeol and Han Dong-hoon—the ‘Choi Soon-sil Tablet’ and the ‘Second Choi Soon-sil Tablet,’ respectively—belonged to Choi Seo-won (formerly Choi Soon-sil),” said Byun Hee-jae. 

“The L-shaped lock pattern was not originally set on each tablet and was found to be a product of evidence tampering, however. The lock pattern was set after each device was obtained by JTBC and Special Prosecutors Yoon Seok-yeol and Han Dong-hoon to make it appear as if they belonged to Choi Seo-won,” Byun added.

The discovery of the timing of the L-shaped lock pattern fabrication originated with the second Choi Soon-sil tablet in late 2022. According to the Korean Cyber Forensic Professionals Association (KCFPA), the lock pattern on the "Second Choi Soon-sil Tablet" was only established at approximately 3 p.m. on January 5, 2017—the same day Jang Shihao first submitted it to the prosecutor's office. No record exists of the lock pattern being set on the device prior to this time. This revelation corroborates Jang Si-ho's false testimony and highlights the tampering of evidence by special prosecutors Yoon Seok-yeol and Han Dong-hoon.

JTBC Reporter Kim Pil-joon's Lies Confirmed by the Korean Cyber Forensic Professionals Association (KCFPA)

"Reporter Kim Pil-joon and JTBC have consistently claimed in their prosecution statements, complaints to Media Watch, and court testimonies that the 'Choi Soon-sil tablet' had a lock pattern from the moment it was found on October 18, 2016, and that Kim stumbled upon and serendipitously cracked the code on that day," explained Byun Hee-jae. "However, scientific and objective records refute this assertion as an outright falsehood."

During the impeachment crisis in late 2016, JTBC broadcasters attempted to conceal the existence of the L-shaped lock pattern on Choi Soon-sil's tablet. This information was initially disclosed by Lee Kyu-cheol(now a lawyer at Daryuk Aju law firm), a spokesperson for special prosecutors Yoon Seok-yeol and Han Dong-hoon, during a briefing on January 11, 2017. "All the cell phones and tablet PCs used by Choi Soon-sil have an L-shaped pattern," Lee asserted at the time.

Subsequently, JTBC confirmed the story the following day, with anchor Son Seok-hee stating, "In fact, if you look at the special prosecutor's briefing yesterday, not only the one we obtained but also the second tablet PC submitted to the special prosecutor by Choi's nephew, Jang Si-ho, has the same lock pattern... The now-famous 'L-shape.' This implies that there can only be one user after all."  This report remains the sole coverage by any news organization regarding the L-shaped lock pattern on tablets to date.

Since then, the issue of the L-shaped lock pattern has faded from public attention, remaining confined to prosecution investigations and court proceedings. In late January 2017, JTBC initially attributed the discovery of the original Choi Soon-sil tablet to journalist Kim Pil-joon in its initial complaint against Media Watch. By April of that year, Kim had provided detailed accounts of the L-shaped locking pattern during the prosecution's inquiry. Subsequently, in October 2018, Kim appeared in court for the criminal defamation trial involving the tablet, where MediaWatch journalists were among the defendants. Once again, he reaffirmed the presence of the L-shaped locking pattern when discussing his acquisition of the tablet.

Byun Hee-jae, “Corruption Investigation Office For High-ranking Officials and Prosecutors' Office should investigate Jang Si-ho and Kim Pil-joon immediately”

“The manipulation of the lock pattern issue appears to be a hastily constructed scenario by special prosecutors Yoon Seok-yeol and Han Dong-hoon, who aimed to attribute the ‘second Choi Soon-sil tablet’ to Choi Seo-won. JTBC's decision to set a lock pattern before submitting the device to prosecutors adds to the complexity, suggesting a coordinated effort,” remarked Byun.

“However, due to the rushed nature of the scenario, the special prosecutor failed to resolve discrepancies regarding the timing and circumstances of obtaining the tablet on the 18th, as initially claimed by JTBC. Consequently, the falsehoods of both parties were eventually exposed,” Byun continued.

Byun intends to address these concerns at a forthcoming press conference organized by the Sonamu Party. Following the conference, he plans to call for the immediate summoning and investigation of suspected tablet tamperers, including Han Dong-hoon and Park Joo-sung, regarding the second Choi Soon-sil tablet. Additionally, he will advocate for the prosecutor's office to reopen the investigation into reporter Kim Pil-joon regarding the original Choi Soon-sil tablet.

MediaWatch Editorial Department mediasilkhj@gmail.com

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