Yang recently brought in judge-turned-lawyer Lee Sang-won in addition to his two legal representatives, as he appears likely to face an unprecedented corruption probe as the former head of the country’s judiciary.
|Former Supreme Court chief Yang Sung-tae exits the Seoul Central Disctrict Court on Jan. 23. Yonhap|
On Thursday, he was put in detention as a suspect facing at least 40 counts of criminal charges. He denies all charges.
Yang stands accused of using or seeking to use trials as political leverage to lobby the office of then-President Park Geun-hye to get her approval for the establishment of a separate court of appeals, his pet project. Yang headed the top court from 2011-2017.
He is also accused of having orchestrated a delay in the deliberation of a damages suit filed by Korean victims of Japan’s wartime forced labor to curry favor the former president, who was seeking amicable ties with Tokyo.
He purportedly pressured judges in charge of such trials to deliver verdicts in Park’s favor and disadvantaged judges who were opposed to establishing another appeals court. (Yonhap)