Prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun testifies for special investigation team

By | August 22, 2019


Now to the latest on the female prosecutor
who has ignited the global “MeToo” movement here in Korea. The female prosecutor, who recently made shocking
revelations on cable TV about being sexually harassed by her senior, has given testimony
to the special investigation team looking into the case. Park Soyun reports. While the MeToo campaign has gained worldwide
attention, the movement was relatively quiet in the socially conservative South Korea — that
was until female prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun came forward with her own story of sexual harassment. The prosecutor’s revelation appears to have
sparked the movement in Korea where sexual harassment in the workplace is prevalent,
but often ignored. As a result of her explosive claims, the Supreme
Public Prosecutors’ Office recently formed a special inspection team to look into sexual
assault allegations in the workplace. A special investigation team on Sunday heard
testimony from Seo for a period lasting over nine hours. Seo was appearing for the first time since
she claimed in a media interview that former senior prosecutor Ahn Tae-gun publicly groped
her at a funeral in 2010. The prosecutor said she testified honestly
and hopes her case brings an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. “My testimony was completely truthful. I hope my case will encourage other victims
to come forward freely without fear and prevent future similar cases from happening again.” The special investigation team confirmed they
have found specific proof that the incidents that occurred at the October 2010 funeral
were true. The team heard detailed testimony that the
then-chief of the Justice Ministry’s criminal affairs bureau tried to cover up the case
and Seo was unfairly transferred to an unwanted post in the regional office in 2015. Ahn has said that he apologizes for “things
that may have happened” but he does not remember because he was intoxicated at the time and
the incident occurred a long time ago. He denied he was involved in Seo’s appointment
to other posts as well as covering up the case. Seo recently appeared on Korean television
and said it took her eight years to realize what happened was not her fault and she went
on TV to tell other victims that it’s not their fault. Watchers are hopeful that Seo’s courageous
act will inspire other women in Korea to stand up and bring about slow but powerful changes
in workplaces across the country. Park Soyun, Arirang News.

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