December 04, 2007 09:55
The disgraced curator Shin Jeong-ah and former chief presidential policy secretary Byeon Yang-kyoon continue to deny Byeon peddled his influence to extract donations from conglomerates for institutions where Shin worked. The two appeared for the second hearing Monday in the trial over the so-called Shin-gate scandal, which spiraled out from revelations that Shin forged her degree certificates. Appearing at Seoul Western District Court on Monday morning, Shin denied she asked Byeon to lean on big companies to donate to the Sungkok Art Museum while worked there. Byeon said he never told Shin she could get donations from a specific company or that he would help her to get them.
Both deny that the companies’ donations to the museum were in fact bribes in return for government favors. Byeon and Shin were expected to be questioned together, but at the request of prosecutors the hearing was divided into two separate sessions. When it was her turn, Shin for the first time admitted she had an affair with Byeon. Asked when it started, she said, “In the fall of 2003.” The pair sat next to each other in the defendant’s seats.
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