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Lee Jae-myung’s aide Jeong released on bail

Posted April. 22, 2023 08:09,   

Updated April. 22, 2023 08:09


Jeong Jin-sang (photo), former vice chief of staff and closest aide to Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung, was released on bail on Friday and will stand trial without detention. He had been in custody since November 18 on bribery charges.

Jeong was granted bail by the 23rd Criminal Agreement Division of the Seoul Central District Court on the condition that he pay a deposit of 50 million won. He is also required to attend court summons and submit a written oath not to destroy evidence. The court has prohibited him from changing his residence or leaving the country without permission. To monitor his location, an electronic tracking bracelet will be attached to him.

In consideration of the risk of destroying evidence, a condition was also imposed to prohibit him from contacting those involved in the case. He is prohibited from any meeting, calling, texting, or contacting them through social network services (SNS) or other means. Indirect contact through third parties is also not allowed.

Jeong transferred to trial while in custody on Dec. 9 last year, and he applied for bail on Jan. 30. His defense team has argued that bail is necessary to exercise equal rights of defense, saying, “The arrest trial seems to be a means of punishment.” The prosecution opposed the bail, citing the possibility of requesting an additional warrant and the risk of destroying evidence. However, the court granted conditional bail on the same day.

According to analysts, the court's decision to grant conditional bail was likely influenced by the fact that Jeong’s period of detention was set to expire on June 8. The court may have chosen to release him with conditions, such as restrictions on residence and communication, in order to prevent the possibility of evidence being destroyed, rather than letting him go completely free after the detention period.

Jeong is accused of receiving bribes of 240 million won from Yoo Dong-gyu, former acting president of Seongnam Urban Development Corporation, while he served as Seongnam City's policy secretary and Gyeonggi Province's policy chief from February 2013 to October 2020, in exchange for providing convenience in various projects. There is also an allegation that he agreed to receive a portion of the project worth 42.8 billion won in exchange for collaborating with private companies to facilitate the development of Daejang-dong.