Former presidential chief of staff sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison for abuse of power

By Jo He-rim
  • Published : Oct 5, 2018 - 16:02
  • Updated : Oct 7, 2018 - 15:40

A Seoul court on Friday sentenced former President Park Geun-hye’s chief of staff Kim Ki-chun to 1 1/2 years in prison and former Presidential Secretary Cho Yoon-sun to one year in prison suspended for two years over the abuse of power.

The Seoul Central District Court handed down the sentence to the two former presidential aides for creating a list of pro-Park civic organizations to illicitly provide them with hundreds of millions of won in support. 

Kim Ki-choon (left) and Cho Yoon-sun (Yonhap)

The prosecution had demanded four years in prison for Kim for abuse of power and perjury. As for Cho, who also served as minister of culture and minister of gender equality for the Park administration, the prosecution requested six years in prison and a fine of 100 million won ($88,520)

The prosecution charged Kim of coercing 6.9 billion won from the Federation of Korea Industries to subsidize some 33 civic groups that were favorable toward former President Park from 2014 to 2016. Kim was immediately detained after the verdict was made.

Cho was also accused of supporting 31 pro-Park groups with some 3.5 billion won worth of government funds from 2015 to 2016. She was also suspected of receiving some 45 million won from National Intelligence Service funds while serving as presidential secretary for political affairs.

Prosecutors had suspected that the support groups that received the illicit money were requested to hold rallies against progressive politicians and opposition parties.

Kim and Cho were already sentenced to four years and two years in prison respectively at the appellate court, for creating a list of thousands of artists deemed critical of the Park administration in order to disadvantage them in receiving state support. 

By Jo He-rim (