100 prosecutors named in big bribery allegationA 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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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