Conviction of Ex-Justice Minister's Wife Upheld

  • By Kwon Soon-wan

    August 12, 2021 14:01

    An appeals court on Wednesday upheld the four-year jail sentence of fly-by-night Justice Minister Cho Kuk's wife for deception and financial misconduct.

    The Seoul High Court found Chung Kyung-shim guilty on appeal of 12 out of 15 charges against her, including doctoring her daughter's academic resume and trying to conceal evidence of illicit stock trading by smuggling her computer out of her office.

    Chung Kyung-shim

    But the court cleared her of using insider information Cho's distant cousin Cho Bum-dong provided on battery company WFM to buy 144,304 of the company's shares.

    The court ruled that three out of seven items on their daughter's resume -- a claim that she had interned at Dankook University, Seoul National University and Dongyang University -- had been fabricated by Chung and another two by Cho himself.

    The doctored resume was used by their daughter to apply for SNU medical school and Pusan National University medical school, where she was accepted.

    The court said Chung's actions "seriously damaged public trust in the fairness of the university entrance system." It noted in particular Chung's attempts to blame flaws in the admissions system for her wrongdoings.

    In a signal for Cho's own ongoing trial, the court ruled that the ex-justice minister personally forged his daughter's internship records at SNU and at a hotel in Busan.

    All eyes are now on what steps PNU, which has said it will wait for the outcome of the trial, will take and whether the daughter's medical license will be revoked.

    Since passing her state medical exam in January this year, Cho Min has been working as an intern in a hospital owned by state utility KEPCO. Her medical license could be revoked if her alma mater annuls her graduation records, but there appears to be no precedent in Korea's legal history. 

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