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Appeals court clears ex-Navy chief of corruption charges

All News 11:22 January 24, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision to exonerate a former Navy chief accused of corruption in a parts supply deal for the country's indigenous salvage ship.

Retired Adm. Chung Ok-geun was indicted in July over allegations that he pressured his subordinates to forge a document in 2009 to help a firm win the contract for the 3,500-ton Tongyeong. Chung served as the chief of naval operations from 2008-2010.

The Seoul High Court found him not guilty, citing a lack of clear evidence.

The corruption case came to light in the wake of a ferry disaster in 2014 that left more than 300 passengers, mostly young students, dead or missing.

At the time of the sinking, the salvage ship failed to participate in rescue operations due to malfunctioning parts, drawing intense public criticism.

Separately, Chung is on trial for another corruption charge that he pocketed kickbacks from two former affiliates of STX Group in 2008.

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