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Disgraced Professor, Official Hear Charges Against Them

Posted November. 13, 2007 03:03,   


Both former presidential policy planner Byeon Yang-gyun (58), who was indicted for involvement in the Shin Jeong-ah scandal, and Shin Jeong-ah herself, denied the charges filed against them at their first hearing in court yesterday. Byeon was charged with influence peddling and Shin was charged with embezzlement.

“I feel regret for causing trouble for the public, president, and my colleagues. Everyday, I reflect on myself and repent for my actions,” said Byeon at the trial presided over by Seoul Western District Court judge Kim Myeong-seop on Monday. Shin also said she would lead a penitent life.

However, Byeon denied all the charges against him in a written statement submitted to the presiding judge. An attorney in favor of Byeon said, “He admitted what he did. But he raised issues over the culpability of his acts.”

Shin acknowledged guilt for some of the charges filed against her, including academic degree forgery, but denied others, including one that she made Byeon put pressure on companies to sponsor the Sungkok Art Museum where Shin had been a curator. A defense lawyer for Shin argued, “Shin’s efforts were what spurred companies to donate funds to the museum.”

When the judge called out the two, Byeon and Shin appeared in the court in sky blue and yellow green prison uniforms, respectively, and sat side by side.

Though they were seated alongside of each other, they never once looked into each other’s eyes. Byeon fixed his eyes on the judge. Shin sat with her head down and shed tears when a prosecutor read the written indictment.

The proceedings ended after twenty minutes without an interrogation of the defendants after the prosecutor summarized the indictment, defense lawyers made statements, and the judge released plans for future trials. The next trial for the two is scheduled for December 3 at 10 a.m. in Room 406 of the Seoul Western District Court.