100 prosecutors named in big bribery allegation

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100 prosecutors named in big bribery allegation

A construction worker in southern Korea yesterday claimed to have bribed about 100 retired and active regional prosecutors over the past two decades.

A man identified by his surname, Jeong, who runs a construction firm in Samcheonpo, South Gyeongsang, last month asked the Busan District Prosecutors’ Office to punish the prosecutors.

Jeong, 52, submitted a list of about 100 prosecutors and said he offered them cash, gifts, meals and sexual services as bribes from March 1984 to April 2009. He said he sent 1 million won ($895) to the head of a regional office on a monthly basis, 500,000 won to seniors and 300,000 won to juniors.

Jeong also said he treated them to lavish meals and sent gifts ahead of holidays like Chuseok and Lunar New Year, and paid for prosecutors’ office retreats and dinner outings.

But Jeong is under trial for fraud and for violating laws regarding legal representation, and prosecutors say his charges are a way of getting back at the prosecutors for his arrest.

The JoongAng Ilbo obtained the list and talked to one active prosecutor on it, who denies Jeong’s claims.

MBC’s current affairs program “PD Diary” is scheduled to air a segment on the potential scandal tonight at 11:05 p.m. PD Diary’s production team said ahead of the April 25 Law Day, it wanted to look deeper into long-held rumors that prosecutors have received bribes in exchange for favorable handling if the bribers ever find themselves in legal trouble.

Jeong’s list contains the names of 57 active prosecutors, most of whom have been posted at the Busan District Prosecutors’ Office or other regional offices in South Gyeongsang. If it’s found to be true, Jeong’s claim would send a major shock wave through the law enforcement system and dozens of prosecutors could be forced to quit.

Most prosecutors on the list denied they had anything to do with Jeong. Some admitted to meeting Jeong but said they never received anything from him. One prosecutor even said Jeong has mental problems and can’t be trusted.

One active prosecutor on the list said Jeong was spreading unsubstantiated rumors. “We were doing our investigation on him as we were supposed to and once we discovered a new charge against him, he threatened to expose his dealings with prosecutors unless we let him off the hook,” the prosecutor said. “But that’s not true. [None of us] had anything to do with the man before.”

The Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office yesterday declined to comment on the case, saying it hadn’t reviewed all of the details.

By Yoo Jee-ho, Lee Chul-jae [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]
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정모씨 “전·현직 검사 100여 명에 수시로 촌지·향응”

검찰 측 “정씨, 구속될 때마다 폭로 거론 … 과장이다”
경남지역 N건설 전 대표 정모(52)씨가 “사업을 시작한 이후 20여 년간 100여 명의 전·현직 검사들에게 수시로 촌지와 향응을 제공하고 일부는 성접대까지 했다”며 “진정한 검찰 개혁을 위해 해당 검사들을 처벌해 달라”는 내용의 진정서를 부산지검에 제출한 것으로 19일 확인됐다.

정씨가 제출한 진정서에는 현직 법무부·대검 고위 간부를 비롯해 지방의 검사장급 간부들이 포함돼 있는 것으로 전해졌다. 해당 검사들은 대부분 부산 또는 경남지역 검찰청에 근무했던 전력이 있다. 이에 대해 부산지검 측은 “정씨가 자신에 대한 경찰과 검찰의 수사에 불만을 품고 허위사실이 담긴 진정서를 제출했다”며 “그의 주장은 대부분 과장된 것”이라고 반박했다. 대검은 정씨 주장의 사실 여부를 확인하기 위해 감찰 조사를 벌이는 방안도 검토 중이다.
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