Former South Korean prosecutor gets 4 years for corruption


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court on Tuesday sentenced a former senior prosecutor to four years in prison for pressuring a Korean Air executive to channel about 14.7 billion won ($12 million) in corporate deals to a contractor run by his brother-in-law.

Jin Kyung-joon was acquitted on separate bribery charges over making the founder of online game publisher Nexon pay for his acquisition of the company’s unlisted stocks in 2005, Seoul Central District Court spokesman Shin Dae-hwan said. Jin reportedly made millions of dollars in profit last year after he sold his shares in Nexon Japan, which went public in 2011.

According to the court, Jin, in exchange for closing an investigation over suspected business irregularities at Korean Air in 2010, pressured the airline’s vice president to hire the cleaning services of a company run by his brother-in-law. The cleaning company won around 14.7 billion won ($12 million) in contracts from Korean Air until July. The court gave the Korean Air official, Suh Yong-won, a suspended prison sentence of two years for his role in the case.

Prosecutors said Jin received 400 million won ($343,000) from Nexon founder Kim Jeongju in 2005 to buy unlisted company shares and later sold them back to the company at a much higher price. Jin used the profit to purchase shares of Nexon Japan and sold them again for 12.6 billion won ($11 million) last year.

But the court acquitted both men of bribery charges, saying there was no proof Jin provided Kim or his company with favors.

Jin, who was a vice ministerial-level official in the prosecution office, became the country’s most senior-level incumbent prosecutor to be arrested in July. The prosecution office dismissed him in August.