Pretrial detention order for Cho denied by courtCho Suck-rai, the chairman of Hyosung Group, was spared from being placed behind bars yesterday after a Seoul court rejected a pretrial detention warrant request by the prosecution, taking into account Cho’s health and age.
“In consideration of Cho’s testimony on the charges [during questioning] and his old age and history of illness, it is deemed unnecessary to grant a pretrial detention for him,” the Seoul Central District Court said early yesterday following a review of the warrant request’s validity.
The 78-year-old head of Hyosung Group was recently admitted to Seoul National University Hospital for high blood pressure and arrhythmia. He was questioned by the prosecutors on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office sought detention for Cho last Friday on charges that he was behind Hyosung Group’s massive tax evasion. Through 1 trillion won ($952 million) worth of creative accounting, the group allegedly avoided paying hundreds of billions of won in corporate taxes. Cho reportedly acknowledged some of the charges levied against him, claiming he was trying to save the company from going under during the 1997 financial crisis.
The prosecution said it will look into the case further before making a decision to seek another detention warrant.
BY KANG JIN-KYU [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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