Arrest warrant denied for Korean Air’s Cho

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Arrest warrant denied for Korean Air’s Cho

A Seoul court on Friday refused to issue an arrest warrant for Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho on embezzlement, tax evasion and other charges.

The Seoul Southern District Court, upon holding an arrest warrant hearing Thursday, said it is difficult to acknowledge the need and reasons for Cho’s detention, given that his charges are disputable and the court needs to guarantee his right to defense.

Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for Cho on Monday over suspicion that he dodged over 50 billion won ($45 million) worth of inheritance tax and embezzled some 20 billion won from company funds by unfairly awarding business contracts to companies controlled by his family.

Cho, 69, also faces breach of trust and other charges, such as pocketing ill-gotten profits from running an illegal pharmacy near a university with ties to his business empire and paying lawyer fees for his family with company funds. Cho’s family has been in trouble following revelations that his wife and two daughters used physical and verbal violence against company staff and other people under their influence. His wife and daughters are also being probed.

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