Updated August. 28, 2014 06:00
The first trial on Yoo Dae-gyun, 44, the eldest son of Yoo Byeong-eon, the late chairman of the formerly Semo Group, and Park Soo-gyeong, 34, who helped Dae-gyuns escape, was held in the court room no. 413 of the Incheon District Court at around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Dae-gyun was charged for allegedly embezzling around seven billion won (6.9 million US dollars) from the groups affiliates including Cheonghaejin Marine Co. in the name of royalties.
Dae-gyun in a sky blue prison uniform looked haggard in the court room. His lawyer admitted only half of the charges filed by prosecutors while Park admitted most of the charges brought by prosecutors.
Dae-gyuns attorney asked for extenuating circumstances, saying, Some of the clauses in Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes have not been applied correctly. He used the embezzled money not for himself but for the management of the companies and the church. He was charged for allegedly embezzling 7.39 billion won (7.29 million dollars) in the name of royalties from the groups seven affiliates including Cheonghaejin Marine Co. between 2002 and 2013.
Kim applied to the court for the suspension of the execution of custody in order to attend his fathers funeral on Saturday. A court source said, The application for the suspension in case of family members funeral is sometimes accepted conditionally if there is no concern that the person might run away. The Evangelical Baptist Church (also known as the Salvation Sect) decided to have Yoos funeral on its compound in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, for two days from Saturday.
Dae-gyun looked at the gallery carefully as if he was finding someone before leaving the court room after the trial.
A trial for three people who assisted Dae-gyuns flight including Ms. Park and Ms. Ha, a 35-year-old believer, was held in the same court room at 10 a.m. on the same day. Unlike when she had been arrested by police, she looked nervous at the court room. She answered to the judges questions in a small voice, lowering her head and looking at the floor. She said, I helped his escape because I knew his wife and children well and I did not intend to do so from the beginning.