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Prosecutors indict ex-Justice Minister Cho’s brother

Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk's brother in a wheelchair (Yonhap)
Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk's brother in a wheelchair (Yonhap)
On Monday, prosecutors indicted former Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s brother, Cho Kwon, accused of filing fraudulent lawsuits against a school foundation run by his family and of accepting money from job applicants in exchange for teaching positions at the school. 

Cho Kwon, who has been in custody since Oct. 31, is now the third member of the Cho family, after Cho Kuk’s wife and his cousin’s son, to face corruption charges. Cho has reportedly turned down every round of questioning, citing health problems including depression and claustrophobia.

Cho Kwon allegedly secured 10 billion won ($8.6 million) in bonds payable by filing fraudulent claims against the family-owned school foundation Ungdong, where he served as executive secretary. 

Cho is accused of having taken 200 million won from two job applicants seeking teaching positions at the school. He is also accused of obstructing business and abetting the destruction of evidence and fugitives to flee from Korea. He is preparing to petition the court to review his bail due to his health conditions.

Meanwhile, prosecutors are scheduling to summon ex-Justice Minister Cho Kuk later this week for the second time. He refused to open up during Thursday’s eight-hour questioning, saying he “intends to reveal the truth in court” if prosecutors indict him. 

The former justice minister is suspected of involvement in bribery and multiple offenses involving his son and daughter’s college admissions. He is also accused of complicity in his wife’s alleged crimes, including embezzlement, insider trading, obstructing business and destroying evidence.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)

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