Public Report on the conduct of 19 Members of Parliament including the Prime Minister, and Ministers of Justice, Public Works, Tourism, Telecommunications, Home Affairs, and Foreign Affairs in seeking a pardon for a fugitive from justice – January 30, 199 - Emalus Campus
Mr. Richard Jung (Jung Jae-Young) came to Vanuatu and became involved in investment proposals and a citizenship and immigration scheme. These are dealt with in the Ombudsman’s public report of June 3, 1997. Mr. Yung was granted an illegal honorary citizenship by Prime Minster Vahor. He also was also given an ordinary passport and a diplomatic passport, both issued illegally. In addition to being granted honourary citizenship and issued passports. He was not required to invest the minimum 5 million vatu that is required of ordinary investors.
It became known that Mr. Jung had a criminal past in Korea. He had been convicted of 2 offences, had served a jail sentence and at the relevant time was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant in Korea in connection with a charge of counterfeiting valuable securities. The South Korean authorities were prepared to send representatives to Vanuatu to escort Mr. Jung back to Korea to face justice. Mr Jung’s criminal record should have disqualified him residing in Vanuatu from the outset.
Instead of taking steps to extradite Mr. Jung, on November 17, 1997, 19 members of Parliament signed letters to the President of South Korea asking that he be pardoned. The letters sought forgiveness for Mr. Jung and variously point out how much Mr. Jung “loves” Vanuatu and is involved in “economic development” and “national projects” in Vanautu.
The Ombudsman found that the 19 members of Parliament (all from UMP or NUP parties) who signed letters and petitions acted improperly under the Leadership Code. Their actions diminished respect for the country, allowed their own integrity to be called into question, demeaned their offices and placed them into a position where the fair exercise of their public duties might be compromised.
The report expresses concern that the approach taken by the 19 Members of Parliament opens Vanuatu to the increased risk of international criminals.
· That the group of 19 politicians publicly apologize to the people of Vanuatu.
· That Mr. Jung be extradited to Korea.
· That the letters seeking Mr. Jung’s pardon be withdrawn.
Written by Edward R. Hill
UNDP Governance and Accountability Project
© Ombudsman of Vanuatu
Published here by University of the South Pacific, School of Law Web Site - www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj