Yonhap: Church chief acquitted on cost of blocking virus effort | Asia Information
Yonhap: Church chief acquitted on cost of blocking virus effort
Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 18:18
Lee Man-hee, chief of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, speaks throughout a press convention at a facility of the church in Gapyeong on March 2, 2020.（PHOTO / Newpaper24）
SEOUL – A South Korean court docket acquitted on Wednesday the chief of a Christian sect charged with obstructing efforts to stamp out one of many world’s first large surges of novel coronavirus infections, the Yonhap information company mentioned.
Lee Man-hee, a self-proclaimed messiah who based and heads the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, had been accused of violating the Infectious Illness Management and Prevention Act by offering incomplete lists of church members requested by well being authorities to hint suspected coronavirus infections.
The church was on the centre of the primary main COVID-19 epidemic outdoors China early final yr, with almost 4,200 of its 310,000 followers contaminated after attending a service within the metropolis of Daegu
The church was on the centre of the primary main COVID-19 epidemic outdoors China early final yr, with almost 4,200 of its 310,000 followers contaminated after attending a service within the metropolis of Daegu.
Authorities on the time complained that Lee was not absolutely cooperating when it got here to offering the names of everybody who might need attended companies on the church.
Prosecutors had sought a five-year jail time period and three million gained (US$2,700) in fines for Lee.
Lee denied any wrongdoing. He apologised that some church members had caught the virus.
The Suwon District Courtroom acquitted him of the costs, saying lists of church members didn’t represent key parts of epidemiological surveys as outlined within the regulation, Yonhap mentioned.
The court docket, nevertheless, discovered Lee responsible of embezzling 5.6 billion gained (US$5.11 million) of church funds to construct a residence, and utilizing authorities amenities for non secular companies with out approval, handing him a four-year suspended jail sentence.
Courtroom officers weren’t instantly out there for remark.
The church welcomed Lee’s acquittal of the COVID-19 accusations however expressed “deep remorse” that he had been discovered responsible of the opposite fees.
It mentioned it might attraction to show his innocence.