Apologize and ask forgivenessChung Kyung-sim, the beleaguered wife of former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, lost her appeal in a case of committing favoritism and other illicit means for the education of her children. The appellate court upheld the lower court’s ruling of a four-year jail term for Chung for academic fraud.
The heavy jail term was confirmed regardless of the acquittal of her financial fraud charge of violating the capital market law through use of unreported information. Violation of financial fraud usually carries heavier punishment. The upper court still maintained a four-year jail sentence because it found crime related to college entry graver. The charges also apply to her husband Cho and will likely weigh over his separate trials.
The court’s sternness partly came from the lack of remorse Chung and her family showed. In the first trial in December, the judge pointed out that the defendant has never admitted to her wrongdoings. And yet Cho keeps on criticizing the prosecution on social media and vows to appeal at the Supreme Court. Although a decision is pending at the top court, various charges against the couple despite their strong arguments have been proven.
The two universities involved — Pusan National University and Korea University — must cancel the daughter’s admission to their schools. Cho will likely file a lawsuit if they do. The universities added confusion with their dilly-dallying despite the scandalous findings that enraged medical students and their parents as Cho’s daughter continued taking the national medical licensing exam and became a doctor. The two universities announced they will reach a conclusion soon after the second ruling.
Politicians of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) who blindly defended Cho and his family msut also answer for stoking an unnecessary social conflict. Despite DP Chairman Song Young-gil’s apology for Cho’s actions, most members disagree. Rep. Back Hye-ryun criticized the opposition People Power Party (PPP) and others for spreading “fake news” about the fabrication of the internship and thesis papers of Cho’s daughter during the confirmation hearing for Cho as the justice minister nominee. Rep. Kim Jong-min even claimed it was a “95 percent attack of fake news on 5 percent faults of Cho.” They must correct themselves and apologize for accusing others of spreading “fake news.” Former DP chief Lee Nak-yon said he would be “standing at Cho’s side” as he goes through a tough time, a very inappropriate comment for a candidate running for president.