The Seoul Southern District Court is expected to decide Thursday whether to arrest senior officials of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions for allegedly damaging police pedestrian barriers and using physical violence against police.
The suspects face charges of interfering with official duties, damaging public goods, hindering traffic, trespassing and injuring a journalist.
The hard-line Korean Confederation of Trade Unions held three rallies in front of the National Assembly from March 27-April 3 in protest of a revision of the labor law. It also called on the government to ratify key International Labor Organization conventions.
The protest turned violent on April 3 as union members tried to push their way into the National Assembly, resulting in a clash between union members and the police. A fence was broken in the process.
Police arrested 33 people at the site and set up a team to look into any illegal actions. Forty-one people were called in for police questioning, but they refused to testify.
Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions try to push their way into the National Assembly on April 3 in protest against the revision of flexible working hours and the minimum wage law. (Yonhap)
During raids of the homes and cars of high-level officials of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions in question, police found evidence that they had planned illegal action prior to the protests.
Kim Myung-hwan, the head of the KCTU, has not yet responded to the police request to appear for questioning.
“Filing the arrest warrant as a result of an investigation was a foregone conclusion. Such suppression of union officials is aimed at clamping down on the union,” the KCTU said in a statement.
By Kim Bo-gyung (email@example.com