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Ex-vice governor to be summoned for ‘involvement in Sewol corruption’

Ex-vice governor to be summoned for ‘involvement in Sewol corruption’

Posted May. 03, 2014 02:42,   


Investigating suspicions over corruption committed by former Semo Group Chairman Yoo Byung-eon, prosecutors will summon Chae Gyu-jeong, former vice governor of North Jeolla Province who was a member of the now-defunct Democratic Party. Chae will be the first politician to be summoned as a suspect in the widening investigation, and prosecutors are considering issuing an arrest warrant for Chae.

The special investigation team at the Incheon District Public Prosecutors’ Office judges that Chae is suspected of committing malpractice as he allegedly siphoned off company fund to pay to Yoo’s family, while serving as head of Onzigoo, an affiliate of Yoo’s conglomerate from 2008 to present. Notably, prosecutors have found that after participating in capital increase of Cheonhaeji, the majority stakeholder in Cheonghaejin Marine, the capital fund has been used to purchase Yoo’s photographs.

Chae was a member of the Democratic Party and the Uri Party, which are the predecessors of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy. At the 2002 local elections, he was elected mayor of Iksan City, North Jeolla Province as a Democratic Party candidate, and he ran for the 2006 elections as an Uri Party candidate. Given that Chae has personal connection with leaders of the Democratic Party including National Intelligence Service chief Nam Jae-joon as alumnus of the Korean Military Academy’s Class 25, he is suspected as a lobbyist in the political and government circle for the former Semo chairman.