SEOUL: A former prosecutor whose trial following groping allegations fuelled South Korea’s #MeToo motion walked free on Thursday (Jan 9) after his conviction was quashed by the nation’s high courtroom.
Ahn Tae-geun, 53, was jailed for 2 years for abuse of energy in January final yr after being accused of repeatedly groping a feminine junior colleague at a funeral in 2015.
After Search engine marketing Ji-hyun filed a proper grievance, Ahn allegedly had her transferred to a provincial submit, considerably impacting her profession.
Search engine marketing went public with a tearful stay tv interview in 2018, which triggered a flood of comparable accusations towards highly effective males in fields starting from artwork to politics that grew right into a South Korean #MeToo motion.
Regardless of its financial and technological advances the South stays a patriarchal society, and has one of many world’s thickest glass ceilings for girls.
Ahn – who was individually fired for corruption in 2017 – couldn’t be charged with intercourse abuse as a result of the one-year statute of limitations had expired.
As an alternative he was indicted for abuse of energy, accused of utilizing his place to strain senior prosecutors to reassign Search engine marketing to a junior place in revenge.
However the Supreme Court docket on Thursday quashed the decrease courtroom’s resolution and ordered a retrial, saying it was tough to conclude one among Ahn’s actions – asking a prosecutor to put in writing a doc associated to Search engine marketing’s switch to a provincial submit – was a type of energy abuse.
The unique ruling “misunderstood authorized ideas on the crime of abuse of official authority”, the Supreme Court docket stated in an announcement.
“The unique verdict is quashed and the case is distributed again for re-review and a brand new resolution.”
The sufferer’s lawyer Search engine marketing Gi-ho stated he “can not presumably comprehend” the Supreme Court docket’s resolution, including it had interpreted the definition of abuse of authority “too narrowly” in reaching its ruling.
Jung Ha Kyung-ju, a ladies’s rights activist in Seoul, stated the scenario was “very regarding”, significantly as the choice had been made by the South’s highest courtroom.
“This says so much about how this nation has been treating ladies and the ability abuse they expertise at work,” she informed AFP.