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Prosecutors extend detention of ex-justice minister’s wife

On Thursday, prosecutors extended the detention of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s wife, Chung Kyung-shim, for another 10 days.

Chung Kyung-shim (center) in gray suit (Yonhap)
Chung Kyung-shim (center) in gray suit (Yonhap)

Detained Oct. 23, Chung was to be in custody until Friday, but prosecutors asked the court for an extension of her detention until Nov. 11, by which time Chung will have to be indicted.

Chung faces 11 charges, including fabricating a document to support her daughter’s university application, obstructing business, insider trading, embezzlement and withholding evidence.

Prosecutors have questioned Chung three times since her arrest. She has denied most of the charges.

Chung has already been indicted for forging a document to rig her daughter’s college admission.

Prosecutors are expected to push for indictment on the other charges as they step up questioning on the other allegations in the next few days.

On Thursday, prosecutors also arrested Cho Kuk’s younger brother, Cho Kwon, on charges of embezzlement and bribery at a school foundation run by the Cho family, obstructing business, withholding evidence and harboring a fugitive.

The Seoul Central District Court had earlier refused to issue a warrant for his arrest, saying his charges were disputable and that he suffers from ailing health. This time, the court saw the merits of prosecutors’ argument that the charges are serious and well founded.

Meanwhile, prosecutors are reported to be preparing to summon former Justice Minister Cho Kuk shortly to question him over corruption allegations involving his family.

By Choi Si-young (