In a statement released on Tuesday, the sitting Supreme Court Chief, Kim Myeong-soo, said he is sorry that the former head of the judiciary, Yang Sung-tae, is now in trial over 47 counts of alleged crimes.
The most notable charges include interference in highly sensitive trials, such as the issue of Japan's forced labor of Korean nationals during World War II, in order to achieve his long-envisioned plan of establishing a separate court of appeals, and creating a blacklist of judges who opposed his plan.
Other judges have been implicated in Yang's scandal, and the sitting Supreme Court Chief said he will deliver punishments on them once prosecutors wrap their investigations at the end of this month.
Disciplinary actions could include barring the judges from ruling.
Two other former Supreme Court justices, Park Byeong-dae and Ko Yeong-han were indicted as Yang's accomplices on Monday. But in Kim's statement of apology, he urged the public not to mistrust every ruling that had been made by the court that the judges ruled over.
Kim said we should all work together not to repeat the same mistakes of the past.
He said one way is to overhaul structural changes that put more responsibility to judges and change their closed-door bureaucracy more open to criticisms outside.
Choi Si-young, Arirang News.