Arrest warrant sought for ex-justice minister’s wife

22-Oct-2019 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office requested a Seoul court to issue an arrest warrant for former Justice minister Cho Kuk’s wife, Chung Kyung-sim, a Dongyang University professor, Monday, on 10 charges including obstruction of business, forgery, violation of the capital market law and destruction of evidence.

The request comes a week after Cho announced his resignation on October 14, just 34 days after his appointment, following mounting pressure over corruption scandals involving him and his family.

The warrant request also comes 55 days after the prosecution initiated its investigation into Cho’s family over the allegations of forgery of university presidential citations, dubious investment in a private equity fund (PEF) as well as academic favours for the couple’s children.

Chung was indicted for allegedly forging her school’s presidential citation so her daughter could use it to be admitted to Pusan National University Medical School.

It is also alleged that the daughter received preferential treatment and scholarships due to her parents’ influence, including being named the lead author of a complex academic research paper as a high school student and obtaining internship certificates despite not completing the programmes.

If these charges are confirmed, Chung could face trial for forgery and interference in school affairs.

Prosecutors charged Chung over her family’s dubious investments in a PEF. She allegedly owned shares of Co-Link Private Equity under a false name and took part in the company’s investment decisions.

Prosecutors also charged Chung for attempting to destroy evidence, as she allegedly asked a securities company worker, who helped manage the family’s wealth, to swap out hard drives from her home as well as from her office computer at Dongyang University.

The investigation into Chung marked the first time in the country’s history that an incumbent justice minister’s wife has been summoned for questioning by the prosecution. Between October 3 and 17, prosecutors summoned her seven times, more than usual, as they did not conduct late night questioning as she cited poor health conditions.

Chung’s aides have claimed she was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and cerebral infarction, but they have not submitted relevant medical certificates to the prosecution yet.

Despite her health claims, the prosecution insists she should be taken into custody and her illnesses are not grave enough not to seek the warrant. Her evidence destruction allegation may have also prompted the prosecution to request the warrant.

After Chung, the prosecution is also likely to question Cho, as it suspects Cho as an “accomplice” in many of the wife’s allegations. Since resigning on October 14, Cho returned to his previous job, Seoul National University professor, but is not currently giving any lectures.


Category: Korea

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