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Prosecutors demand 5-yr sentences for gov't officials over artist blacklist

All Headlines 11:29 July 03, 2017

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors sought Monday five-year jail terms for three former ranking officials for their involvement in the blacklisting of artists critical of former President Park Geun-hye administration.

A special counsel in charge of the case demanded the sentencing of former Culture Minister Kim Jong-deok, ex-Vice Culture Minister Jeong Kwan-joo and Shin Dong-chul, a former presidential secretary for political affairs.

They have been standing trial since April on charges of abuse of power and coercion by which dozens of artists and culture figures were denied state support because they had either acted or voiced against the conservative government led by Park.

They were accused of exerting influence on the Arts Council Korea not to grant certain artists state subsidies.

The blacklist case is part of a string of what mounted into a massive political scandal that led to Park's removal from office in March.

Two key figures suspected of devising and executing the blacklist scheme -- former chief of staff Kim Ki-choon and ex-Culture Minister Cho Yoon-sun -- are to face their final trial later in the day, when they will also hear the sentence demand from the prosecutors.

The composite photo shows former culture minister Kim Jong-deok (L); ex-vice culture minister Jeong Kwan-joo (C); and Shin Dong-chul, former presidential secretary for political affairs (R) on July 3, 2017, as they enter the courthouse to stand their final trial over the artist blacklist. The prosecutors demanded a five-year jail term for each of them. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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