Posted December. 21, 2012 21:20,
A court on Friday sentenced one former and two active-duty police officers to prison and fines for helping a wanted suspect escape arrest by tipping him off about investigation information.
The Seoul High Court gave a former cop identified only by his surname Han, who had served at the Gyeyang Police Station in Incheon, to two years in prison and 12 million won (11,153 U.S. dollars) in fines, ordering him to pay 31 million won (28,813 dollars) in restitution for his crime.
An active-duty officer was given eight months in prison with a stay of execution for two years for the same charges. Another cop received a suspended sentence of six months.
The court ruling said the three deserved severe punishment for having taken bribes for years and leaking investigation information to a criminal suspect.
Han is known to have helped a bar owner, 56, whom he had known for nearly 20 years and took bribes after the bar owner was wanted on suspicion of fraud. Han accessed police files to obtain data about the probe and tipped off the bar owner that two of the former`s vehicles were not on the polices wanted list, something which helped the suspect escape from police. Han also allowed the bar owner to use his credit card.
The two active-duty cops were not found to have taken bribes, but did leak investigation information to the suspect, whom they had known for years.
Han accepted bribes from the bar owner, who paid 20 million won (18,590 dollars) in installments for a sport-utility vehicle that the former police officer bought in 2005, according to the court. In 2010, Han took over a mid-size sedan owned by the bar owner`s son and had the bar owner pay 11 million won (10,224 dollars) in installments.