The Korea Herald


Police investigation clears Maestro Chung of alleged embezzlement

By Korea Herald

Published : Aug. 4, 2016 - 13:44

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The police announced Thursday that former Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra music director Maestro Chung Myung-whun, who has been tangled in a series of legal battles concerning his tenure at the SPO, has been cleared of all embezzlement accusations.

The allegations first came about last year after MBC, a local media broadcast station, accused Chung of writing-off millions of won by manipulating his work travel expenses. Following the reports, two local civic groups filed a complaint with the police prompting an investigation into the maestro’s conduct.

According to police officials, an investigation into Chung’s travel records spanning from 2005 to 2015 revealed no suspicious or illegal activity. The case is being sent to the Seoul Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, with a recommendation that the case be dropped.

“I am happy that after a thorough investigation all the accusations against me have proven to be groundless,” said Chung in a statement released by the law office of Jipyong representing the maestro, on Thursday afternoon.

“It is a pity that so much damage has been done to me and the SPO over the last year and a half. I have worked tirelessly and honestly on behalf of SPO over 10 years,” he continued. “What I have learned from this experience is how easy, especially in our country, it is to tear down and destroy something that has been built with such hard work.”

“I hope that in the future I can be of help to other people who have suffered through such hardship caused by completely fabricated accusations,” Chung says.

Although Chung has been cleared of all embezzlement accusations, the maestro is still under investigation regarding his alleged role in the defamation for the former SPO CEO Park Hyun-jung, who resigned from her post in December 2014 amid allegations of verbal and sexual harassment of orchestra employees.

Chung’s wife, surnamed Koo, is also under investigation by police and is currently suspected of ordering her husband’s secretary to spread false rumors about the former CEO.

By Julie Jackson (