SEOUL-- A disgraced former ranking prosecutor was given a longer sentence by an appeals court on Friday, as the court found him partially guilty on bribery charges that were dismissed in the earlier verdict.
The Seoul High Court sentenced Jin Kyung-joon, an ex-senior official of the Justice Ministry, to seven years behind bars, ordering him to forfeit 500 million won (US$445,593) and pay a fine of 600 million won. He was given a four-year jail term by the lower court in December.
The court also overturned the not-guilty ruling on Kim Jung-ju, the founder of South Korea's major online game publisher Nexon Co., and sentenced him to two years in prison with a three-year probation for offering bribes to Jin.
Jin, 50, was indicted in July last year on charges of receiving some 950 million won in kickbacks from Kim, current chairman of Nexon's holding firm NXC Corp., from 2005 to 2014. They have been friends since college.
He was also accused of peddling influence with the former vice president of Korean Air Lines Co. to sign contract deals worth some 10 billion won in total with a company owned by his brother-in-law.
The lower court found Jin guilty only of the latter charge, saying that there is not enough evidence to prove Kim asked any favors or that Jin exerted influence for him.
But the appeals court found the ex-prosecutor guilty of receiving a high-end sedan and some 50 million won from his friend for travel expenses. It sustained the prosecution's argument that Kim's offers may well have been intended as favors.
The prosecution has claimed that Kim paid travel expenses for Jin's family on over a dozen separate occasions spread over more than 10 years. Kim also gave him the car that was leased under his company name for free, they said.
Still, the court ruled Jin was not guilty of taking about 850 million won from a third party to purchase unlisted Nexon shares in 2005, citing a lack of evidence to prove that Kim provided the money. Prosecutors have said that Kim lent him the funds from his company assets and repaid the money on Jin's behalf.
The purchase of some 8,500 shares in Nexon Japan turned into a jackpot, earning Jin some 12 billion won in profit after the company went public.
Source: Yonhap News Agency