Prosecution files additional charges against ex-justice minister’s wife

November 11, 2019

 State prosecutors filed additional charges against the arrested wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk on Monday as they apparently prepare to summon Cho for questioning in connection with alleged irregularities by his family.

Chung Kyung-sim, a professor, was indicted on 14 counts related to her daughter’s college admission and her dubious investment in a private equity fund (PEF).

Her detention, originally set to expire at midnight, will be extended with the indictment.

Chung was arrested last month on 11 charges relating to alleged irregularities surrounding academic favors and a financial investment.

The prosecution added three charges, including fraud and violation of the real-name financial transaction law.

She is already standing trial on alleged forgery of a presidential citation for her daughter.

Investigators are expected to call in the former minister, a close aide to President Moon Jae-in, as early as this week.

The 57-year-old Chung faces allegations of colluding with a relative of her husband and embezzling money linked to a 1 billion-won (US$851,000) PEF investment by her and her two children.

She is also suspected of buying 600 million won of shares in a KOSDAQ-listed firm after obtaining undisclosed information and of possessing stocks under a borrowed name.

Cho abruptly resigned in October amid controversy over whether he was suitable for the Cabinet post. Cho is known as a key architect of the Moon administration’s prosecution reform plans.

Following his wife’s indictment, Cho said he feels miserable over the situation, but claimed that the truth will be told through trials.

Cho, who previously served as a presidential secretary for civil affairs, said he’ll be also grilled by prosecutors soon, adding that everything related to him is subject to suspicion.

“I may find myself in trouble because of what I don’t know about or don’t remember,” Cho wrote in a Facebook post. “I don’t know what charges I may face, but it appears my indictment is already scheduled … I feel terrible, but I’ll do my best to restore my honor and reveal the truth.”

Chung Kyung-sim (C), wife of ex-Justice Minister Cho Kuk, is surrounded by reporters on Oct. 23, 2019, as she leaves a Seoul court after attending a hearing to review an arrest warrant. (Yonhap)

Chung Kyung-sim (C), wife of ex-Justice Minister Cho Kuk, is surrounded by reporters on Oct. 23, 2019, as she leaves a Seoul court after attending a hearing to review an arrest warrant. (Yonhap)

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