Ex-top court chief justice to stand trial over judiciary power abuse scandal in late May

By Yonhap
  • Published : May 11, 2019 - 10:29
  • Updated : May 11, 2019 - 10:29

A court will hold the first hearing in the trial of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae in late May over a judiciary power abuse scandal involving former top court officials.

    Yang will stand trial on May 29 over allegations that he used trials as bargaining chips in dealings with the office of former conservative President Park Geun-hye to support his bid to establish a court of appeals.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae (Yonhap)

    Yang, who headed the top court from 2011-17, is accused of having pressed his officials at the National Court Administration (NCA), the top court's governing body, to devise plans to influence politically sensitive trials for Park, who is now jailed over corruption charges.

    Yang is the first chief justice ever to have been arrested as a criminal suspect. He has flatly denied the charges.

    He made a bail request in February, claiming he needs the time and physical freedom to better prepare for the trial, but a local court rejected it.

    During a hearing for bail review, Yang denounced the prosecution, claiming that the charges were manipulated.

    The Seoul Central District Court will also hold the first hearing for two former NCA chiefs -- Park Byong-dae and Ko Young-han -- on May 29 over their involvement in the scandal.

    The former top court justices are alleged to have worked to deliberately put off court deliberations for some of the cases to curry favor with President Park, who at that time sought amicable relations with Tokyo. (Yonhap)