Justice starts to prevailChung Kyung-sim, wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, was sentenced to four years in jail in the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday. The judge accepted the prosecution’s arguments that Chung orchestrated the fabrication of her daughter’s qualifications for college admissions. The court also found Chung guilty of illegal activities with a private equity fund and ordered her to compensate losses caused to investors. After the court’s ruling, Chung was arrested. The court’s ruling could suggest the former justice minister will be found guilty in a separate trial later on. The court’s decision also means that Cho and his followers’ hysterical accusations against the prosecution do not hold up in court.
The court blamed the defendant for “not accepting her wrongdoings at all.” It also pointed out that Chung wrongly accused witnesses of “making arguments against her for their own political and individual motivations.” The ruling translates into a stern judgement that the professor nonchalantly committed immoral acts in defiance of common decency, not to mention the law. We hope Chung and her husband reflect on what they did. Nevertheless, the former justice minister is behaving as if he is a martyr who “must walk a thorny path from now on.”
The court said that Chung brought “unfair outcomes” to other college applicants by helping her daughter pass the first-level exam of the Seoul National University Medical School and thus depriving competitors of a chance to pass the test. The court also said that her daughter would have failed to get admitted to the Pusan National University Medical School if the school had known of the forging of an award she submitted.
After the explosive Cho Kuk scandal, we saw a strange transformation of injustice into justice, unfairness into fairness and lies into truth in our society. Cho and her allies ferociously attacked opponents for “trying to cook up a political conspiracy” against them. They even defined the prosecution’s attempt to indict them as “resistance against the liberal administration.”
Fortunately, the court has put an end to their reckless assertions of martrydom. Despite President Moon Jae-in’s invitation of Chief Justice Kim Myeong-su to a Blue House meeting on Tuesday, the bench delivered a ruling without feeling any pressure from the president.
We hope the ruling paves the way for putting our society back on track after years of lopsided ideological and political offensives from the liberal camp. We expect our judiciary to do the same with a bunch of similar cases involving abuse of power. The court must show that justice will prevail.