Former Navy chief given 4 years in jail

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Former Navy chief given 4 years in jail

The Seoul High Court remanded the Supreme Court’s sentence on a former Navy chief, who was found innocent at the time, and sentenced him to four years of imprisonment on Thursday.

The Seoul High Court on Thursday sentenced Chung Ok-geun, the 65-year-old former Navy chief of staff, to four years for third-party bribery. His son, indicted as an accomplice to Chung, was sentenced to two years with a three-year probation period.

Chung was initially indicted for bribery in 2015 for granting preferential contracts to affiliates of STX Group, a now-defunct shipbuilding company, from September to December of 2008, and in return receiving 770 million won ($672,000) via his son’s yacht-manufacturing company.

The prosecution at the time charged Chung for bribery, stating, “The money that Chung’s son received can be seen as bribes that Chung himself received.”

Chung’s first trial sentenced him to 10 years with a 400 million won fine, and an additional fee of 445 million won.

His second trial lightened his sentence to four years, stating it is difficult to calculate how much of the money his son received were bribes for Chung.

Then last June, the Supreme Court ruled Chung innocent.

“It is difficult to see the funds that Chung’s son’s yacht company received as bribes to Chung and his son,” the Supreme Court said at the time.

The prosecution then charged Chung with third-party bribery. The Criminal Act forbids a public official from demanding or promising “a bribe to be given to a third party on acceptance of an unjust solicitation in connection with his or her duties.”

BY KIM SEON-MI [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]
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