Roh Hoe-chan (Hangul/Hanja: 노회찬/魯會燦; Born: August 31st 1956 in Busan) is a Korean politician and labor activist. He has a Degree in Political Science & International Relations Studies from Korea University. He is affiliated in the Justice Party of Korea (정의당/正義黨) and a member of Ganghwa Roh Clan (강화 노씨/江華魯氏), originated from Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole. Roh is dubbed as Anpan-man (Hoppangmaen/호빵맨 in Korean) due to his looks which is resembled to the character. He is a person who responsible to bring up the Samsung X-Files back in 2005, citing the need to expose Samsung's relationships with powerful prosecutors.
Roh was an assemblyman for Seoul Nowon-byeong (Seoul Nowon-gu 3rd) Electoral District for 19th Session of Korean Republic National Assembly. However, in February 14th 2013, he lost his seat in the assembly when he exposed the corruption made by one of the famous Korean Chaebols, Samsung Group. The Supreme Court of Korea upheld that by publishing transcripts of wiretapped conversations online, he broke communications laws; the conviction means he cannot remain a lawmaker, and he has received a suspended prison sentence. In explaining its decision, the court said "Unlike distributing press releases to journalists, uploading messages on the Internet allows an easy access to anybody at any time." It added that the media publishes select information "with responsibility" rather than providing the public with "unfiltered access" to what it knows.
The conversations in question are part of what is known as the Samsung X-File, a trove of tapes illegally recorded by the government's intelligence service during the 1990s. The files include conversations between Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and his brother in law, and reveal bribes allegedly paid by the conglomerate to prosecutors, politicians, and presidential candidates.
But investigations into the X-File centered around the illegal nature of their recording and release — only Roh and MBC journalist Lee Sang-ho were indicted for their role in publishing the wiretaps, and none of the resulting evidence was admissible in prosecution. Lee was handed a suspended prison sentence in 2011 on the grounds that his reporting of private conversations was not in the public interest. However, Joongang Daily newspaper publisher Hong Seok-hyun was forced to resign as US ambassador over his implication in lobbying presidential candidates with Samsung bribes, as was Vice Justice Minister Kim Sang-hee.
In July 30th 2014, Roh was competed in Korean by-elections for the assemblyman seat of Seoul Dongjak-eul (Seoul Dongjak-gu 2nd) Electoral District when the previous holder, Chung Mong-jun was resigned his post as the assemblyman of that area. However, he lost to Na Kyung-won of Saenuri Party with the majority of 1029 votes (Na: 38,311 [49.9%] - Roh: 37,282 [48.69%]).