Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk will likely face prosecutors’ questioning over corruption allegations no later than Nov. 11, the final day of detention for his wife, Chung Kyung-shim, who was taken into custody Oct. 23.
Cho’s alleged crimes are threefold.
He is accused of influencing his wife to purchase shares in battery firm WFM at a price lower than their market value, while he worked as a senior presidential secretary.
Choi is accused of complicity in other alleged crimes by his wife, including fabricating a document to support their daughter’s university application and destroying evidence. He is also accused of helping his brother to file fraudulent lawsuits against a family-owned school foundation.
The former justice minister’s brother, Cho Kwon, is in custody on charges of embezzlement and bribery in connection with a school foundation run by the Cho family, as well as on charges of obstructing business, abetting the destruction of evidence and harboring a fugitive.
But the former justice minister may appear for questioning later than expected. Prosecutors balked at rigorously investigating his wife, Chung, who refused to undergo questioning at times, saying she was in poor health.
Chung, who has denied most of the charges against her, is reportedly planning to petition the court to reconsider her arrest on health grounds.
Meanwhile, prosecutors are considering whether to summon Cho Kuk’s mother and question her about the corruption allegations against the family, but they are seen as wary of subjecting her to a lengthy interrogation because of her advanced age.
By Choi Si-young (email@example.com