Sunday, April 27, 1997
Diplomatic immunity got a dignitary who allegedly drove drunk off the hook while fellow United Nations envoys found themselves under renewed attack yesterday by Mayor Giuliani.
Chae Hyun Shin, 32, the second secretary to the South Korea’s UN Mission, was briefly detained with an accompanying diplomat by cops after his 1995 Ford rear-ended another car on First Ave., police said.
Both were released after an investigation confirmed their diplomatic status and determined that no one had been injured.
“The driver was intoxicated when he ran the car into the rear of another vehicle, but no summons was issued because of diplomatic immunity,” said Carmen Melendez, a Police Department spokeswoman. “They were escorted to the 19th Precinct, and the mission was called.” A representative of the South Korean mission went to the stationhouse after the 11:20 p.m. accident and escorted the two officials back to the mission headquarters on Fifth Ave., police said. Officials from the South Korean mission could not be reached for comment.
Hours after the incident, Mayor Giuliani continued his New York vs. the World war of words against UN diplomats.
Giuliani came to the defense of cops who ticketed the cars of Russian and Swiss diplomats — while the envoys were attending a tea party hosted by the city’s UN liaison.
“Follow the rule that, by and large, police officers in this city act lawfully,” Giuliani said. “Police officers as a group are much more responsible, much more willing to follow the rules and the laws, than diplomats of the Russian Federation.”
Officials confirmed that diplomats from the Russian Federation and Switzerland complained about the tickets issued during Thursday night’s gathering at the upper East Side home of city UN liaison Livia Silva. The party was held in honor of Nane Annan, the wife of new UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan of Ghana.
“Don’t take one side of the story,” Giuliani said. “You know, these are New York City police officers who put their lives at risk for us. We could give them the benefit of the doubt rather than what some diplomats are saying.”
The mayor singled out Russian Federation diplomats for his harshest criticism, saying they racked up 134,000 parking tickets last year.