Being Interrogated by the Police/Prosecution (in Korea)



If you ever become a suspect in South Korea and the authorities have you under custody, you will be interrogated either by a police officer or a prosecutor. Of course, the Korean Constitution guarantees a suspect’s right to a lawyer. But this does not mean that a suspect can have his/her lawyer attend instead. The suspect him/herself has to attend (with his/her lawyer). Once present, the suspect may refuse to answer any/all questions.

During interrogation, a lawyer’s role is to make sure unlawful interrogation does not take place. A suspect may consult his/her lawyer before answering each question, while the lawyer may object to any unreasonable action taken by the interrogator.

During/after interrogation, the interrogator will draft what is called a “Suspect Interrogation Record” (피의자신문조서). FYI, this is not a transcript (of the interrogation). It’s more a summary as paraphrased by the interrogator. Of course, the suspect will have a chance to…

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