National soccer player Son Jun-ho, who was detained by Chinese public security for bribery charges, has been reported to face up to five years in prison.
On the 17th (local time), Chinese media Sina.com quoted legal experts and said, “Son Jun-ho could be imprisoned for up to five years.”
Son Jun-ho was arrested by local public security while trying to leave the country at Shanghai Airport on the 12th and is in criminal detention. Criminal detention refers to compulsory investigations carried out while temporarily detained for the purpose of investigation for an offender or suspect. Currently, he is said to be under investigation by the Public Security Bureau of Chaoyang 토스카지노City in Liaoning Province.
Son Jun-ho of the national soccer team. [Image source = Yonhap News]
Previously, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a regular briefing on the 16th that “a Korean national has been criminally detained on charges of accepting bribes for non-state actors.” The ‘crime of accepting bribes by non-state actors’ applies to cases where a person belonging to a company or other unit that is not a government agency illegally accepts the property of another person for the convenience of his/her job. Athletes may be charged with bribery when they receive or give or receive money in exchange for a fraudulent request to compete.
Son Jun-ho has been playing for Shandong Taishan in Chinese professional football since 2021. Recently, coach Hao Wei and some players of this team are being investigated by the authorities for misconduct such as match fixing.
According to the media, Son Jun-ho is the first foreign player to be investigated for anti-corruption in Chinese soccer. Previously, Shen Shi, a former Chinese national team member, was sentenced to 6 years in prison and a fine of 500,000 yuan (about 95 million won) for bribery charges, but it is said that this is the first time for a foreigner.
However, Inbo, a professor at the University of Political Science and Law in China, predicted that “anyone who violates the criminal law in China, even if he or she is a foreigner, should be punished according to Chinese law. Hu Yongping, a Chinese lawyer, said, “If the bribe
amount is between 60,000 and 1 million yuan (approximately 11.45 million to 191 million won), it can be sentenced to less than 5 years in prison, and more than 1 million yuan can be sentenced to more than 5 years.” The expulsion of foreigners who have committed a crime is a separate issue that can be reviewed.”
Meanwhile, the Consulate General of Korea in Shenyang, China, conducted a consular interview with Son Jun-ho, who is currently in custody, and said, “There is no human rights violation.” In addition, if “the policy is to provide all necessary consular assistance to ensure Son Jun-ho’s human rights, etc.”, he added, “I know that the lawyer will assist with matters related to the investigation.”