Former Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-eui denied accusations that he received sexual services or bribes from businessmen as his trial opened Tuesday, six years after he first became mired in an orgy scandal.
At the first hearing, held in the Seoul Central District Court, Kim’s lawyer accused the prosecution of unreasonably filing bribery charges for the sake of indicting him.
“He was stigmatized as a shameless rapist, was subjected to blame and mockery, and was forced to stay silent in a situation where excuses do not work,” Kim’s lawyer said.
Kim, 63, has no memory of what happened 10 years ago and there is no objective evidence to back the prosecution’s charges against him, the lawyer said, noting that charges against Kim were dropped on two occasions -- in 2013 and again in 2014.
Kim, who served as vice justice minister in 2013, was indicted in early June on charges that he received sexual favors at developer Yoon Joong-chun’s home in 2006 and bribes from businessmen worth 170 million won ($140,000) between 2003 and 2011.
The hearing came amid calls for a reinvestigation into the case six years after a video was leaked in which a group of men, including one believed to be Kim, are seen taking part in a sex orgy with about 30 women at a villa in Wonju, Gangwon Province.
He also may face additional charges of having received more than 100 million won from the chairman of a local savings bank in the early 2000s. The prosecution believes the chairman gave the money to then-Vice Minister Kim to seek special treatment in an investigation.