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Senior judge arrested over corruption charges

All Headlines 22:57 September 02, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- An incumbent senior judge was arrested Friday on charges of receiving kickbacks from a former president of a local cosmetics brand, prosecutors said.

Kim Soo-cheon, a 57-year-old senior judge of the Incheon District Court, is suspected of receiving 170 million won (US$152,193) worth of money and valuables from Jung Woon-ho, the jailed former chief of Nature Republic, they said.

This is the latest in a spate of corruption cases involving incumbent judges.

In January last year, Choi Min-ho, who was a judge then, was arrested for allegedly taking hundreds of millions of won worth of kickbacks from a private moneylender.

Kim was the first senior judge to be put under custody in 10 years since Cho Kwan-haeng, a senior judge of the Seoul High Court. Cho was arrested in August 2006 on charges of taking 120 million won worth of gifts and cash from Kim Hong-soo, a broker, in return for influencing court proceedings. Cho later received a jail sentence for bribery charges.

As Friday's arrest is expected to send a shockwave across the country, the Supreme Court quickly issued a public apology in a statement.

"We bow down and express our deep apology for giving you great shock and disappointment," the court said in the statement.

The nation's top court said it will hold an emergency meeting of lower court chiefs at 10 a.m. Tuesday to discuss a fundamental solution to the recurring corruption scandals.

Yang Sung-tae, chief justice of the Supreme Court, will make a public apology during the meeting in connection with the latest incident, according to the court.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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