SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday proposed tougher countermeasures against stalking suspects, such as the imposition of a restraining order, amid growing societywide resentment over the recent murder of a young subway worker by her alleged stalker.
The top court said in a statement that stalking suspects who are under investigation without detention need to be given a court order to wear an electronic tracking device or stay away from potential victims.
“Under the current system, it is difficult to make an appropriate conclusion on each stalking case, because there are only two options — detention and non-detention,” the statement said.
“It is necessary to harmonize between the principles of presumption of innocence and investigation and trial without detention by introducing the conditional release system at the arrest warrant stage,” it said.
The conditional release system is a system in which the judge dismisses an arrest warrant request and releases suspects with certain conditions, such as payment of a deposit, restriction of residence, third-party guarantee on court attendance, attachment of electronic devices, and prohibition of access to victims.
The statement came amid rising public anger over last Wednesday’s gruesome murder of the 20-something female subway worker by her alleged stalker identified as 31-year-old Jeon Joo-hwan and the court’s failure to issue an arrest warrant for Jeon in October last year, when he was nabbed for illegally filming his victim.
The Supreme Court said it plans to publish specific legal guidelines on the punishment of stalking offenders in November, adding it will continue to pay attention to prevent the recurrence of unfortunate incidents like the death of the subway worker.
The Korean Bar Association also said earlier this week that it is necessary for the court to issue an electric anklet attachment order to actively monitor stalking suspects when it dismisses an arrest warrant request for them.