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South Korea arrests ex-chief justice over delay in wartime labor trials

Yang Sung-tae allegedly maneuvered to deliver verdicts favorable to previous government

Former South Korean Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae appears at court on Jan. 23 to attend a hearing for reviewing the prosecution's detention warrant at the Seoul Central District Court.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korean authorities on Thursday arrested retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae over his suspected involvement in delaying deliberations on wartime labor litigation in order to win the favor of then-President Park Geun-hye.

The unprecedented arrest of the former chief justice was for allegedly orchestrating the delay at a time when Park had sought improved relations with Japan. Yang also allegedly pressured judges in charge of trials to hand down verdicts favorable to Park in order to gain her approval for establishing a separate court of appeals, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

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