Justice minister warns of stern punishment of hidden cam crimes
SEOUL, Justice Minister Park Sang-ki on Wednesday warned of stern punishment of hidden camera crimes amid an ongoing investigation into a K-pop star who admitted he secretly filmed himself having sex and shared the videos in a chat room.
"Distribution of illegal visual material, whether it was for profit or not, is one of the worst crimes," he said during a press briefing on the ministry's 2019 policy plans.
"When the crime is confirmed, (the prosecution) must seek punishment accordingly," he said.
The minister's remark comes amid a widening investigation into allegations that Jung Joon-young, a singer and TV personality, secretly made sex tapes of himself with women and shared the videos with his fellow entertainers in a mobile chat room.
K-pop boyband BIGBANG's Seungri was among the people in the same chat room, according to the police. Seungri is currently being investigated over possible sex solicitation charges in an unrelated case.
If convicted, Jung could face a prison term of up to seven and a half years or a 30 million won (US$26,480) fine.
Jung and Seungri are both set to appear for police questioning Thursday.
Regarding this year's policy plans, Minister Park reiterated his pledge to push for revision of related laws so as to reform the judiciary.
The government has been pushing for a reform aimed at reducing the investigative powers of the prosecution and giving more investigative rights to the police, including the right to close a case independently of the prosecution.
Reforming the prosecution was one of President Moon Jae-in's key campaign promises amid long-running criticism that the prosecution has abused its investigative rights while currying favor with those in power for its own interests.
Park also promised stepped-up efforts to lay the legal groundwork for the establishment of a government-proposed independent investigative body exclusively in charge of probing corruption by high-profile public officials, including the president.
"As a poll has showed that 80 percent of South Koreans want the independent investigative agency to be set up, the legislation must be approved at the parliament," he said.
Source: Yonhap news Agency