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Shin Jeong-ah Confesses to Affair with Byeon

Posted December. 04, 2007 04:15,   


Former presidential secretary for policy Byeon Yang-gyun and Shin Jeong-ah, who were both prosecuted for the so-called Shin Jeong-ah gate, affirmed their 4-year affair in their second public hearing.

Judge Kim Myeong-seop, who presides over criminal cases in the Seoul Western District Prosecutors` Office, heard the case Monday morning. Shin responded “yes” to the prosecutor’s question about whether she had an affair with Byeon. To the question of the commencement of their affair, Shin answered, “Since the fall of 2003.”

The prosecutor presented evidence that Shin made contracts for two mobile phone numbers in October 2004 which had the same four final digits. When asked whether “Obba (brother)” in her text messages online using one of the mobile numbers from November 2004 to January 2005 refers to Byeon, Shin answered in the affirmative.

In another hearing held Monday afternoon, to the prosecutor’s question of whether he used a mobile phone given by Shin, Byeon said, “Yes, but I don’t remember the number.” Byeon said, “I stored her mobile number on the phone and gave it a quick dial setting. I did not use the phone for reasons other than calling her.” He also said that he received her text messages calling him “Obba.”

Unlike the first hearing on November 12 in which the two appeared together, the second hearing on Monday was divided into two sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office which was concerned about the possibility of “collusion between the two to rig the evidence.”

The 35-year-old former professor strongly denied the charge, as she did in the first hearing, that Byeon put pressure on Daewoo Construction, the Korea Development Bank, and Paradise Group to sponsor Sungkok Art Museum financially where Shin worked as a curator. While the prosecutor inquired, “It has been proved that Byeon asked for sponsorship of the gallery to all corporations from which Shin received funding,” Shin argued, “I did not hear anything about that from Byeon.”

The former presidential secretary, however, said that he mentioned about sponsorship of Sungkok Art Museum in meetings with chairmen and/or high ranking company officials.