There are considerable similarities in law enforcement and criminal investigation in most developed countries, though the common law versus civil law countries have their own unique divergences in criminal procedure. I don’t know Korean criminal law but the Park Shi Hoo and “K” sexual assault allegation investigation is taking a turn for the strange and not very transparent. Both Park Shi Hoo and K were supposed to show up at the Gwangju Seobu (Western) Police Station on February 24th for the first questioning on this case. Over the weekend, Park Shi Hoo changed attorneys, reportedly upon the advice of his current attorney who specializes in commercial law with a focus in entertainment (contracts, defamation, etc.), and he’s now retained one of the top criminal law lawyers in Seoul. The new attorney promptly released a statement that Park Shi Hoo will not be able to attend the police questioning on the 24th, due to unforeseen circumstances. Er, and what might that be? A death in the family? Severe diarrhea? Temporary amnesia? My ADA and law enforcement friends would shit a brick if I explained how this questioning has been postponed now two times, because its usually out of courtesy and lack of flight risk that an accused rape suspect gets to go in for questioning at a certain time as opposed to being arrested. But that time is usually set within 1-2 days, at most. This is looking more and more perplexing to me if I want to keep an open mind that Park Shi Hoo (and/or K) may be falsely accused and simply want to go in and clear their name. What’s even more weird is that his new lawyer has filed an official request to have the case transferred from Gwangju Seobu (Western) Police Station to Gangnam Police Station for handling. The police have indicated they will likely turn down this request, which is the only sensible thing to do since when does a suspect have a right to request a transfer of jurisdiction?
The media was already camped outside of Gwangju Seobu (Western) Police Station by Sunday as there is sure to be a media circus when Park Shi Hoo and/or K show up for questioning. I don’t see the need for the media to chronicle everything – the Gwangju Seobu (Western) police can question him in another precinct for all I care to cut down on the side show outside. It’s now been 10 days since the alleged rape, and 9 days since the alleged victim reported it, and still no tangible movement on the police investigation. If Park Shi Hoo claimed he was going in for questioning to clear his name that this was a consensual sexual encounter, he or his lawyer is not doing a good job of giving the perception they have nothing to hide. At this point, it might be Easter before the police actually interview Park Shi Hoo and/or K to ask their side of the story. And frankly, I want to hear it beyond the statements released that it was consensual.