NATIONAL

Prosecution considers filing extra charges against ex-minister

By Ock Hyun-ju
  • Published : Aug 12, 2019 - 16:59
  • Updated : Aug 12, 2019 - 16:59

The prosecution is considering whether to file additional charges against former Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-eui, who is being tried on suspicions that he received sexual services and bribes, as they secured fresh circumstantial evidence he had taken additional bribes. 

(Yonhap)

Kim, 63, who served as vice justice minister in 2013, is suspected of having received more than 100 million won ($82,220) from the chairman of a local savings bank, surnamed Kim, since the early 2000s, according to the team investigating his case.

The prosecution believes that the chairman gave the money to then-Vice Minister Kim to seek favor in the investigation involving him. The chairman took his own life in January 2012 while under probe for illegally lending 690 billion won to a construction firm.

The ex-minister was indicted in June on charges that he received sexual favors and bribes worth 170 million won between 2003 and 2011 from businessmen.

If the extra bribes add up, the total amount of bribes he received will total more than 3 billion won.

The bribery charge has a statute of limitations of five years, which means it could be impossible to file charges against Kim even if the allegations are found to be true. If he received more than 100 million won, the statute of limitations is extended to 15 years.

The sex scandal involving Kim became publicly known after a video clip was leaked showing a group of men, including one believed to be Kim, having a sex party with about 30 women in his home in Wonju, Gangwon Province.

Kim has denied the allegations. The first hearing for Kim’s case is scheduled for Tuesday.

(laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)