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Supreme Court OKs suspended prison term for former labor leader in illegal protest case

All News 14:00 August 12, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court's ruling of a suspended prison sentence for a former head of a militant labor umbrella group indicted for masterminding assaults on police during outdoor rallies in 2018-19.

The top court approved the Seoul High Court's prison sentence of 2 1/2 years, suspended for four years, for Kim Myeong-hwan, former chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). It also upheld the appellate court's order for Kim to complete 160 hours of community service.

This file photo taken Aug. 12, 2020, shows Kim Myeong-hwan, former chairman of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, arriving at the Seoul High Court to attend his appellate hearing. (Yonhap)

Kim was indicted on charges of overseeing violent illegal acts during KCTU members' four protest rallies in front of the National Assembly compound in Seoul between May 2018 and April 2019.

During the protest rallies, labor activists knocked down parts of the fence surrounding the National Assembly, assaulted police officers, destroyed police equipment and attempted to illegally force their way into the compound, according to the court.

The rallies were aimed at blocking the passage of labor bills, including those calling for extending statutory flextime from three to six months to minimize side effects of the government's mandatory 52-hour workweek policy and revision of the minimum wage law, which had aroused controversies at that time.
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