The Korea Herald


Seoul Nat'l Univ. sacks disgraced ex-justice minister

By Park Jun-hee

Published : June 13, 2023 - 17:47

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Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk (Yonhap) Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk (Yonhap)

Seoul National University’s disciplinary committee said Tuesday that it has decided to expel former Justice Minister Cho Kuk from the school's law faculty, citing the court decision that sentenced him to two years in prison for abusing his power and influence.

The decision comes after he was removed from his teaching position in January 2020. He was indicted without detention on Dec. 31, 2019, on 12 charges, including for bribery and corruption, over his involvement in his children’s illicit college admissions. SNU, at that time, said it would wait for legal developments before making a final decision.

Tuesday’s decision was made based on the university’s regulations, the committee explained.

Under Seoul National University’s teacher’s disciplinary regulations, the university president can request disciplinary action from the school’s disciplinary committee if an educator breaches the law or otherwise damages the dignity of one’s job as an educator.

Cho was sentenced to two years in prison in February for submitting documents that falsely stated that his son completed an internship, which helped him be admitted to a prominent university. He also forged his daughter’s academic credentials, which helped her gain admission to a medical school.

He was a law professor at his alma mater until he was tapped as senior presidential secretary for civil affairs during the former Moon Jae-in administration from 2017 to 2019. He was later appointed justice minister in August 2019 but stepped down over the allegations.