October 17, 2019 13:51
Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk's wife submitted dubious medical records to prosecutors on Tuesday to evade a possible arrest warrant after claiming she has a brain tumor.
The paperwork is not a formal medical record but proof of hospitalization, and was issued by an orthopedic doctor, who would not be qualified to diagnose brain diseases. According to prosecutor it does not identify the physician in charge or even the hospital.
Cho, who is accused of document forgery and trying to destroy evidence, has been pleading ill health and taking breaks during each of her six interviews by prosecutors so far, apparently whenever questions got too close to the bone.
A prosecution source said Chung has been told to submit additional documents such as CT and MRI records, but her lawyer claimed that could "harm the hospital and other patients, and we informed prosecutors in advance that we intend to conceal this sensitive information."
The lawyer added that the issuer of the document was an orthopedic doctor because Chung suffers from several ailments and he was one of several physicians who checked her up.
But a neurosurgeon at a large hospital said, "It's impossible to consider the document she submitted legally valid since it lacks even basic information like a doctor's name or medical license number and there is no seal on it."
One lawyer said, "Prosecutors are not going to disclose the name of the hospital anyway, so there's no point trying to hide the information."
Cho's younger brother, who is also implicated in the widening corruption scandal, now also claims he needs emergency back surgery but has yet to undergo the procedure, according to prosecutors. The brother is suspected of taking hundreds of millions of won in bribes from applicants for teaching jobs at a private educational foundation run by Cho's family.
Prosecutors have applied for an arrest warrant for Cho's brother, but a court rejected the request citing his mysterious back problem.
Cho resigned earlier this week amid massive protests after just 35 days in the job, where he was ironically tasked with reforming the prosecution that was even then coming after him.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com