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Ex-justice minister's brother sentenced to 1 year in jail


A Seoul court on Friday sentenced former Justice Minister Cho Kuk's brother to one year in prison on charges linked to a private school foundation run by the family.

The Seoul Central District Court handed down the jail sentence and ordered Cho Kwon to pay 147 million won ($126,506) for obstruction of business.

Cho, who was released on bail in May, had been indicted on allegations of receiving 180 million won in exchange for leaking test questions and answers to two people who applied for teaching posts at a school run by the Cho family's Woongdong School Foundation

The court said that the younger Cho disrupted the school's recruitment process and added that receiving a substantial amount of money was "no light charge."

The court, however, did not acknowledge other allegations raised against Cho, such as embezzlement and destruction of evidence.

The ruling is the latest in a series of legal cases surrounding the Cho family. The former minister's nephew was sentenced to four years in prison in June for embezzlement and violation of capital market law.

Cho, who stepped down from the ministerial post in October last year, said he is "sorry to the citizens" over the Friday ruling.

"As a former senior public servant, I am truly sorry to the citizens," Cho wrote in a Facebook post, adding that his brother is "deeply repenting."

Cho, however, added that his brother's case was found during the prosecution's "trawlnet investigation" against all members of his family after he became a minister nominee. (Yonhap)