A former Foreign Minister of South Korea, Mr. Chyung Yil-Hyung, was among 18 people found?
A former Foreign Minister of South Korea, Mr. Chyung Yil-Hyung, was among 18 people found guilty on Friday (27 August) of defying an emergency decree by urging the restoration of full democracy to the nation. His wife, Dr. Lee Tai-Young, a leading women's rights campaigner was also found guilty.
SYNOPSIS: An ex-President of South Korea, 78-year-old Mr. Yung Po-Sun, and former Presidential candidate Mr. Kim Dae-Jung were sentenced to eight years imprisonment. All the defendants were charged after they defied the decree last year. At the time they also demanded the resignation of South Korean President, General Park Ching-Hee, and the abolition of the present constitution.
The defendants -- who all denied the charges -- were given one week to file their appeals against conviction. Many of them, including priests and nuns, belong to the South Korean Christian community. Others charged included academics and intellectuals in the forefront of the campaign to restore full democracy to South Korea. The presidential decree bans all criticism of the constitution and the decree itself, and the spreading of distorted reports.
Watching the proceedings was the bearded Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-Hwan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seoul. The trial followed a declaration read to the congregation in Myong-Dong Cathedral in the capital.
The former Foreign Minister, Mr. Yil-Hyung and his wife were both sentenced to five years jail by the Seoul Criminal District Court. Five more defendants were given jail terms ranging from two to four years. Passing sentence, the presiding Judge said that all the defendants had brought harm to the state.