Top South Korean Army commander indicted on bribery charges

Gen. Park Chan-ju (L), commanding general of the South Korean Army's Second Operational Command, has been indicted on bribery charges. File Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 11 (UPI) — A four-star South Korean Army commander, accused of bullying soldiers assigned to his official residence, will be court-martialed on bribery charges, the Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday.

Military prosecutors have indicted Gen. Park Chan-ju for receiving services worth 7.6 million won ($6,700), including hotels and meals, from a local scrap steel businessman, allegedly in return for favors related to military projects.

Park is also accused of having illegally peddled his influence to transfer an Army colonel to a post he wanted while serving as the commanding general of Second Operational Command, according to the investigators.

The general was arrested on the charges last month after being removed from his command post amid fierce public criticism over his alleged abuse of power and human rights violations against “housekeeping soldiers.”

The prosecutors, however, plan to drop the charges connected to the way he treated the rank-and-file soldiers, as it is not a matter of legal punishment, the ministry said.

They have decided to ask state prosecutors to look into similar allegations that Park’s wife, a civilian identified only by her surname Jeon, treated the soldiers like “slaves.”

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