Prosecutor indicted for threats and blackmail

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Prosecutor indicted for threats and blackmail

A prosecutor was indicted yesterday for threatening a plastic surgeon in an attempt to help a celebrity settle disputes with the doctor.

The 37-year-old prosecutor was indicted on charges of blackmail and violating the laws that dictate ethical codes and conduct for legal professionals.

The prosecutor and Lee Yoon-ji, the 32-year-old celebrity and TV personality, first met when the prosecutor took part in a 2012 investigation concerning allegations that Lee - better known by her stage name, Amy - illegally possessed and used propofol.

Propofol is a powerful anesthetic that can kill if taken in large doses.

The prosecutor apparently admitted to the charges during his testimony, saying he did what he did to “come across as a trustful and reliable man,” according to an investigator at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.

But the defendant denied that there were any sort of underhanded dealings with Lee and maintained that he stepped in out of sympathy for her, said the official, who requested anonymity.

Lee told the accused prosecutor in November 2012 that she had been a victim of medical malpractice and was struggling to receive approval from the clinic for another operation.

The prosecutor, identified only by his surname Jeon, intimidated the doctor via text message, claiming the doctor’s clinic would be raided if the surgeon did not yield to his requests, the investigator said.

Jeon managed to receive the establishment’s permission to let Lee undergo another operation, worth about 7 million won ($6,573).

He also collected some 15 million won from the clinic on her behalf, which he gave to the TV personality.

In addition, the indicted prosecutor gave Lee 120 million won, mostly by borrowing from different banks.

The indicted prosecutor stated that he gave the money to Lee because he wanted to help her get her life together and encouraged her to pursue further studies or learn a vocational skill.

On Tuesday, Lee appeared on the JTBC News 9 and admitted that the two were romantically involved.

When asked why she had denied their relationship earlier, she said, “It could damage the prosecutor.” She added that Jeon had only intended to help her, not abuse his authority.

Last year, Lee was sentenced up to eight months in prison and two years of probation for illegally using propofol.

The court also ordered her to complete 40 hours of community service and 24 hours of a medical lecture course.

“I began meeting him one month after I was released from prison,” she said during the interview.

During Lee’s case, the court explained that the starlet “experienced heavy guilt since her dependence on propofol has clearly been acknowledged and her social influence is huge.”


BY PARK EUN-JEE, LEE GA-YOUNG [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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