November 29, 2019 13:39
Fly-by-night Justice Minister Cho Kuk's wife on Thursday refused again to comply with a summons from prosecutors after her children, who have been implicated in their mother's alleged infractions, exercised their right to remain silent during questioning.
Chung Kyung-shim submitted a letter excusing herself and remained holed up in her cell in a remand prison. Chung had initially agreed to be questioned, only to change her mind later. Since being indicted on Oct. 23, Chung has refused several times to appear for questioning citing poor health.
Prosecutors say they need to question her further about fresh allegations of infractions she committed to help her son gain admission to a prestigious university.
Chung is accused of faking records to make it look like her son worked as an intern at Seoul National University in 2013 before he applied for university, and again in 2017 before he applied to a graduate course at Yonsei University. Her husband was then and remains a professor at SNU.
Prosecutors have questioned both Cho's daughter and son about the egregious padding of their resumes, but both apparently refused to answer.
A prosecution source said, "Cho and his family are refusing to give testimony, causing the investigation to be delayed."
Cho Min (28), the daughter, enrolled in coursework for this year's fall semester at the medical school at Pusan National University, but her classmates said they have not seen her since the scandal surrounding her father erupted.
But on Wednesday she showed up to take an exam in prerequisite courses which she had flunked twice.
Prosecutors indicted her mother for forging documents and other violations to pad her daughter's application to the school and listed Cho Min as an accomplice.
Korea University, where Cho Min gained her first degree, and Pusan National University received a barrage of public criticism and mounting pressure to cancel her admission, but both said they will to wait for the outcome of the legal proceedings.
It is expected to take at least a year before courts can reach their verdicts, which means Cho Min could end up graduating and obtaining a medical license on false premises before her mother's trial ends.
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