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Can unpopular sect expect justice?

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By Michael Breen

The current investigation into Lee Man-hee, founder of the Shincheonji sect, moved a step forward last week with prosecutors applying to the court for an arrest warrant.

As readers will recall, the issue here goes back to February when a large number of sect members in Daegu caught the coronavirus. At the time, news reports claimed that efforts by health authorities to map the extent of the cluster were held up because of the church's unwillingness to hand over lists of its members.

The church argued that it was fully cooperating but needed time to verify and update its lists. But prosecutors are convinced that Lee conspired with other church officials to conceal the identity of members and provide false information about them and places where they worshipped. This, they say, amounted to deliberate obstruction of government, which is illegal in an emergency like COVID-19.

Given the 97 percent conviction rate in criminal cases in this country, the future doesn't look good for the 89-year-old........

© The Korea Times

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