Prosecutors Seek 7 Years in Jail for Ex-Justice Minister's Wife

      November 06, 2020 10:43

      Chung Kyung-shim arrives at the Seoul Central District Court on Thursday. /Newsis

      Prosecutors on Thursday demanded a seven-year prison sentence for the wife of fly-by-night justice minister Cho Kuk for influence peddling and shady financial dealings. Prosecutors also called for a W500 million fine and the forfeiture of W165 million (US$1=W1,128).

      The demands came in the final session of Chung Kyung-shim's trial at the Seoul Central District Court. Prosecutors said the charges leveled against her resemble the massive corruption scandal that broke ex-President Park Geun-hye.

      "It is clear to everyone that the offenses are grievous and justify a strict investigation," a prosecutor told the court.

      They read out all 15 charges against Chung and countered claims by her husband that she was the target of a witch hunt staged to resist prosecution reforms. Instead, they said, "Trying to politicize this investigation is only a ploy by high-ranking officials and the elite to block a fair investigation."

      Regarding charges related to padding their daughter's resume to ensure a place at a top university for her, prosecutors said Chung, who is a university professor herself, should have known better than to meddle in the admissions process.

      Chung told the court in her final statement, "The last 10 years of my life have been laid bare to the public and I have grown highly skeptical about life. I strongly believe that the layers upon layers of charges leveled against me will be lifted and the truth will be revealed."

      The verdict is expected on Dec. 23.

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