Guilty Verdict Overturned In S.nKorea MeToo Case

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Ahn Tae-geun was convicted and jailed for abuse of electricity in January last yr

A previous prosecutor who was tried out pursuing groping allegations that fuelled South Korea's #MeToo movement walked no cost on Thursday following his conviction was quashed by the country's prime courtroom.

Ahn Tae-geun, 53, was jailed for two years for abuse of ability in January last yr immediately after currently being accused of regularly groping a woman junior colleague at a funeral in 2015.

Immediately after Search engine marketing Ji-hyun filed a formal complaint, Ahn allegedly experienced her transferred to a provincial post, appreciably impacting her job.

Search engine marketing went public with a tearful reside television interview in 2018, which triggered a flood of identical accusations from highly effective gentlemen in fields ranging from artwork to politics that grew into a South Korean #MeToo movement.

Inspite of its economic and technological developments the South continues to be a patriarchal modern society, and has one particular of the world's thickest glass ceilings for girls.

Ahn -- who was separately fired for corruption in 2017 -- could not be charged with sexual intercourse abuse for the reason that the just one-calendar year statute of limitations had expired.

Alternatively he was indicted for abuse of electrical power, accused of utilizing his posture to tension senior prosecutors to reassign Web optimization to a junior placement in revenge.

An appellate courtroom experienced upheld the initial ruling in July, but the Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the conclusion and ordered a retrial, stating it was tricky to conclude one particular of Ahn's steps -- asking a prosecutor to generate a document related to Seo backlinks's transfer to a provincial submit -- was a kind of energy abuse.

The first demo ruling "misunderstood lawful rules on the crime of abuse of formal authority", the Supreme Court stated in a statement.

"The primary verdict is quashed and the scenario is sent back for re-overview and a new decision."

The victim's law firm Search engine optimization Gi-ho claimed he "simply cannot probably understand" the Supreme Court's choice, adding it had interpreted the definition of abuse of authority "much too narrowly" in reaching its ruling.

Jung Ha Kyung-ju, a women's rights activist in Seoul, explained the condition was "extremely regarding", specially as the selection experienced been produced by the South's optimum courtroom.

"This says a great deal about how this place has been treating gals and the electrical power abuse they practical experience at work," she instructed AFP.