Dallas trial in SSRT bribery case postponed
February 5, 2009
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — A federal judge in Dallas has postponed the trial of a South Korean telecom executive accused of bribing AAFES officials so his firm could sell Internet and phone service on U.S. military installations on the peninsula.
Prosecutors asked for the delay to allow time for South Korean authorities to forward to police evidence gathered when former SSRT chief executive Jeong Gi-hwan was prosecuted in Suwon District Court on bribery charges stemming from his company’s contract with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.
U.S. prosecutors in September asked South Korean authorities for certified copies of "all of Jeong’s business notebooks, ledgers, calendars, date books and other evidence," according to court documents.
Jeong’s trial had been scheduled for Feb. 23, but U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade postponed it to June 1.
Jeong was convicted in January 2008 in Suwon of interfering with international trade, and he and SSRT were later fined. Prosecutors had accused him of bribing AAFES officials so that his firm could hold the AAFES contract, valued at $206 million.
In the U.S. case, prosecutors accused Jeong of paying about $195,000 to former AAFES officials to win their help in ensuring SSRT would hold the contract. Prosecutors contend Jeong bribed former AAFES officials Clifton W. Choy and H. Lee Holloway.
Choy died of heart failure in August.
Holloway has allegedly made a plea-and-cooperation agreement with prosecutors, according to federal court documents.
U.S. prosecutors also are asking South Korean authorities for evidence of alleged stock agreements between Holloway and Jeong.
Jeong pleaded not guilty in December to two federal counts of bribery.
The FBI arrested him in Dallas on Nov. 19. A grand jury indicted him there Dec. 17.