South Korean court sentences wife of former justice minister to four years imprisonment for corruption

Cho Kuk attends a hearing at the national assembly in Seoul, South Korea.

A South Korean court on Wednesday sentenced the wife of a former justice minister to four years in prison and nearly half a million dollars in fines in a family investment and university admissions case that led to her husband’s resignation last year.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Chung Kyung-shim should face prison time and pay a fine of 500 million won (an equivalent of $451,000), a court spokesperson said.

She was accused of fabricating documents to help her daughter get into medical school, as well as various charges related to family investments and a consulting contract.

Chung has denied the charges and the sentence can be appealed.

Her husband, Cho Kuk, was a former close aide to President Moon Jae-in. The scandal forced Cho to resign his position as justice minister after just one month in office, and he too faces criminal charges related to the case.

Cho’s resignation and indictment were a spectacular downfall for the former star legal scholar known for progressive thinking who was one of Moon’s closest political allies and viewed by some as a potential presidential successor.

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