Chung Kyung-shim, former Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s wife, appeared at the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday for a hearing to determine whether the court would issue a warrant for her arrest.
She attended the hearing with her attorney.
Chung Kyung-shim (Yonhap)
Chung faces 11 charges, including fabricating a document to support her daughter’s university application, obstructing business, insider trading, embezzlement and withholding evidence.
She has denied the charges.
Earlier, Chung submitted what appeared to be a medical diagnosis to the prosecution, contending she suffered from a brain tumor and other serious health problems.
The prosecution asked her to substantiate the claims, as the document bore the name of neither the doctor nor the hospital responsible for the diagnosis, but she had not responded to that request.
It was the first time Chung appeared in public as part of the investigation, as prosecutors had so far kept the proceedings behind closed doors.
“I will do my best at the hearing,” she said to reporters before entering the courthouse. She did not address any other questions from reporters.
The court will have to decide whether the allegations against Chung are serious and well founded, and whether there is a risk of her fleeing or destroying evidence.
Chung and the prosecutors disagree on every point, and the court was to announce its decision later in the day or early Thursday.
If the court issues the warrant, prosecutors will gain traction to more aggressively investigate former Justice Minister Cho over the corruption allegations surrounding his family.
If the court decides against it, prosecutors may face difficulty in amping up the investigation into the corruption scandal that has engulfed the country for months.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org