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Prosecution demands 5-year prison term for ex-justice minister

National 16:14 December 02, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors on Friday demanded five years in prison and a fine of 12 million won (US$9,225) for former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, who stands accused of academic irregularities involving his children and interference with an inspection into a corruption case.

Cho was indicted in December 2019 for fabricating documents to help his children get into prestigious schools and for receiving bribes in the form of a scholarship for his daughter.

He was indicted again in January 2020 for using his power as a presidential aide to end an inspection into bribery allegations involving a former Busan vice mayor.

Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk appears at the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul on Dec. 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk appears at the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul on Dec. 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

Cho, a law professor at Seoul National University, served as senior presidential secretary for civil affairs from 2017 to 2019.

He was appointed justice minister in September 2019 before stepping down about a month later amid the scandal.

Cho denied the charges, claiming the prosecution conducted the investigation to attack then President Moon Jae-in. President Yoon Suk-yeol was serving as prosecutor general at that time.

Cho's wife, Chung Kyung-sim, is serving a four-year prison term. She was convicted of charges that include forging her daughter's academic credentials for school admissions.

She faces an additional charge related to her son's college admission, for which the prosecution has demanded two years in prison.
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