Ex-Justice Minister 'Pleads the 5th' in Wife's Trial

  • By Yang Eun-kyoung

    September 04, 2020 13:17

    Chung Kyung-shim arrives to attend a trial at the Seoul Central District Court in the capital on Thursday.

    Fly-by-night Justice Minister Cho Kuk refused to answer any questions Thursday in his wife's trial on charges of shady financial dealings, document forgery and corruption.

    He invoked Article 148 of the Criminal Procedure Act, the equivalent of the U.S.' Fifth Amendment, more than 300 times. The article gives a person the right to refuse to answer questions that would mean incriminating themselves and also extends to incriminating family members.

    Prosecutors grilled Cho's wife, Chung Kyung-shim, about new revelations and presented fresh evidence that contradicted previous claims by the fly-by-night justice minister, who resigned after just over a month in office.

    Cho had boasted that he would "reveal the truth in court" but in the event decided not to utter a peep.

    The forgery charges relate to the flagrant padding of the couple's daughter's resume to ensure her a place at a top medical school. The financial charges are about alleged insider dealing through a family-owned hedge fund, and Chung is also accused of trying to destroy evidence by smuggling her computer out of her office once the scandal broke.

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