Military trial begins for S. Korean general
Stars and Stripes May 21, 2004
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A military trial kicked off Wednesday afternoon for the suspended deputy chief of the Combined Forces Command, accused of siphoning almost $120,000 in South Korean military funds for his personal use.
Gen. Shin Il-soon, who became the first active-duty general arrested on corruption charges in South Korean military history, is being tried by a three-judge military panel, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said Wednesday.
The trial, held at the Ministry of National Defense headquarters and open to the public, was scheduled to last two to three days, the spokesman said. Prosecutors were unsure what punishments Shin could face if convicted.
Maj. Gen. Park Seung-hwan, the former CFC deputy chief of staff, was named as Shin’s replacement and began his new duties after an indictment was issued last week.
Shin has worked at Yongsan Garrison since April 2003; before that, he served at Republic of Korea army headquarters.
The investigation began after anonymous tips from within South Korea’s military, officials said. Several anonymous letters, signed only as “People Who Love the Armed Forces,” contained the allegations against Shin.
Shin is the first active-duty South Korean general officer to be indicted on corruption charges since the Republic of Korea Armed Forces were formed in 1945. But several other current and former high-ranking officials also are being investigated on corruption charges, military prosecutors say.
As a result of the widening scandal, military officials pushed back the annual announcement of selections for general officer positions in the South Korean military.
— Jennifer Kleckner contributed to this report.