Lim Ah-moo-gae, a reporter for the Korean Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) who is under police investigation for allegedly passing materials from Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon’s parliamentary personnel hearing to a third-party reporter, has accused the police of “excessive” raids, saying that “before I was a journalist, I went through things that were too much for an individual to handle.
Lim, who introduced herself as an 18-year journalist and mother of a child, wrote an article titled “What is the definition of ‘over-investigation’?” on the blog platform Brunch on the 31st. “, she wrote about the police raid on her home on the morning of the 30th, saying, “On that day, I checked the contents of the warrant with my lawyer and cooperated with the search of my body, clothes, and belongings, and after the search of my car, the search of my residence was conducted.” “What kind of serious crime could a journalist have committed that a judge would issue a warrant to search a journalist’s body, clothes, and belongings, including his home, car, and office?” she asked. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Department’s Anti-Corruption and Public Crime Investigation Unit said that it seized Lim’s cell phone and conducted searches of his home and vehicle to investigate the alleged leak of the minister’s hearing materials.
“The police checked all the PCs in the house, the USB (USB-removable storage device), and checked the interview notebooks and diaries. From the diary I used in 2006 to the interview notebooks, I pored over the materials. I couldn’t understand how a 20-year-old diary and a 10-year-old interview notebook could be related to a minister’s personnel hearing request file,” he wrote. President Yoon Seok-yul (then president-elect) nominated Han as a candidate for justice minister in April last year, and the National Assembly’s personnel hearing was held in May.
Lim claimed that the police also said, “Let’s hand over your cell phone first, and Minister Han Dong-hoon cooperated with the seizure of your cell phone메이저놀이터.” “Why did the police mention ‘Minister Han Dong-hoon’ to the reporter after executing the warrant, and above all, why did the investigative agency, which is supposed to be neutral, speak as if it were a spokesperson for Minister Han Dong-hoon, and tell him to cooperate with the seizure of his cell phone,” Lim said, adding that he was confused as to whether the seizure came from the police or the prosecution.
Lim cooperated with the police as much as he could during the hours of the raid, but was deeply offended by the police’s investigative behavior, including the excessive search. “When I saw the police enter the room and go through the drawers, touching up to XX (referring to underwear), I was honestly angry,” he said. “I handed over my cell phone, I handed over my work laptop, but why do they have to go through my underwear drawer in a space where my family lives and shame me?” he asked. “The police had already visited our home twice before the raid, and as soon as the journalist’s car pulled into the parking lot, a police car followed, as if following him, and took two months’ worth of records of the journalist’s access to the apartment, and took videos of my family’s faces. What is the connection between this investigation and my family?” he asked.
Police also shed some light on a minister’s alleged leak of hearing materials. The police are investigating data submitted by the minister to the National Assembly ahead of his personnel hearing last year, which was then passed on to a reporter from “Open Public Affairs” via Lim. The data reportedly contained personal information such as the minister’s resident registration card and real estate purchase and sale contract. In response, Lim said, “There are more than 1,000 reporters who enter and exit the National Assembly. Including foreign reporters, there are about 1,300 to 1,500. During the period of personnel hearings, personnel verification materials are released, and reporters report based on those materials to verify the personnel hearing subjects.”
Lim also had an open question for a minister. “At the time of the personnel hearing, when reporters were covering your daughter’s attendance at an international school, you said that excessive coverage of children is problematic because they are minors. Have you ever thought about what would be more frightening for you, being interviewed or being investigated?” he wrote.
In a separate case, Lim was accused of defamation by the ruling party last year after reporting on President Yoon Seok-yeol’s controversial “Biden-blow” slur. In 2020, he was also sued for 30 million won in damages by Minister Han Dong-hoon for his coverage of the “prosecutor’s drinking” case.