12 December 2016
A South Korean court on Tuesday sentenced Jin Kyung-joon, a former senior prosecutor, to four years in prison for compelling a Korean Air executive to give about $12 million in cleaning contract to a company run by his brother-in-law. Jin got this favour in exchange for closing an investigation over suspected business irregularities at Korean Air in 2010.
The then-Korean Air official, Suh Yong-won, a suspended prison sentence of two years for his role in the case. He now holds a different positon under the airline’s parent company, Hanjin Group.
Prosecutors charged Jin received $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 $11 million last year. Prosecutors also charged Nexon founder Kim Jeongju for giving bribe to Jin.
But the court acquitted both men of bribery charges, saying there was no proof Jin provided Kim or his company with favours. It is understood that Jin Kyung-joon and Kim Jung-ju attended a Seoul university together and have maintained good relations since then.
The post held by Jin in the Prosecutor’s office was equivalent to the post of a vice-minister in Korea. The Prosecutor’s office relieved Jin of his position in August this year.