“If I take power, it will not be completely safe there.” On November 15, last year, Kim Geon-hee spoke to Open Sympathy TV in a phone call with reporters from Seoul Voice. On the 25th of last month, the police confiscated and searched the office of ‘Citizen’s Media The Investigation’ (formerly Open Sympathy TV) on charges of violating the Public Official Election Act and defamation. On the 1st, the home of reporter Kang Jin-goo and PD Choi Young-min of The Exploration was confiscated and searched.
During the presidential election, The Investigation, which raised suspicions related to presidential candidate Yoon Seok-yeol, such as the ‘Julie suspicion’, held a foreign press conference at the Press Center on the 1st and claimed that the police raid and search were suppression of the press. In a press conference, they said, “The police search and seizure seem to have other purposes. “I suspect that the Yun Seok-yeol government is trying to find and suppress the informants of the Kim Kun-hee allegations,” he said.
Reporter Kang Jin-goo said, “(Today) I opened the door to the investigators who knock on the door in their sleep. Seven police officers conducted a random search for nearly two hours from 8 o’clock,” he said. The main search keywords for the search and seizure by the police were Yoon Seok-yeol, Kim Kun-hee, Choi Eun-soo, and Geon-jin (beop).
Reporter Park Dae-yong argued, “At this point in time when various accusations and accusations against Mr. Kim Gun-hee are concluded as either acquittal or disregard, unfortunately, we are conducting an unreasonable investigation against the media that actively reported[Kim Gun-hee’s suspicion].” Reporter Park said, “(Mrs. Kim Gun-hee) is not a matter of privacy, but is a matter of public interest, such as a connection between a company-prosecutor’s office and a suspicion of bribery, so the court decided that reporting is possible. However, if you look at the current search and seizure warrants, they are pointing out that even such reports are serious crimes.”
PD Choi Young-min said, “Verification of presidential candidates and their families is the job of all media. It is unprecedented for them to retaliate like this because it is unfavorable to them,” he said. Reporter Park Dae-yong was concerned, “If we find a witness during the ‘Julie’ activities, there is a possibility that (the government) will secretly convince them.” Reporter Kang Jin-goo said, “Korean journalists do not extend the spirit of solidarity beyond legacy media. The media outside the castle do not seem to be considered journalists,” he said, urging the media to pay attention to the investigation situation.
Earlier, 51 members of the Democratic Party of Korea held a press conference on the 26th of last month and pointed out the search and seizure by The Investigator, saying, “What the police are trying to confirm is directed at the reporter (informant) related to the past of Mrs. Kim Gun-hee. It was criticized as an act that invalidates the principle of protecting reporters in the media. The police’s unreasonable search and seizure has no choice but to perceive the government’s unreasonable intervention in the investigation, which is approaching the statute of limitations under the Election Act, and tyranny of the critical media.”