(LEAD) Chief of bakery giant SPC detained for questioning after repeatedly ignoring summons

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with more info)

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) — Prosecutors on Tuesday detained Hur Young-in, the chairman of bakery giant SPC Group, for questioning for allegedly forcing bakers at a group affiliate to quit their labor union, after he repeatedly ignored summons.

The 74-year-old chairman was detained at a hospital in Seoul and transported to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, a day after he snubbed a summons again for questioning over his alleged involvement in coercing bakers at Paris Baguette, a popular SPC bakery chain, to withdraw their membership of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) between 2019 and 2022.

Hur disobeyed prosecution summons three times last month in connection with the investigation. He eventually presented himself before prosecutors in late March, but the questioning session was cut short after an hour due to complaints of chest pains.

He cited health issues while refusing to show up for questioning scheduled for Monday.

On Tuesday, officials at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office detained Hur for questioning after a court issued a detention warrant for him on charges of violating the trade union act, the office said.

Prosecutors suspect the SPC Group was also involved in imposing personnel disadvantages on employees affiliated with the KCTU.

The investigation is also directed at whether Hur was involved in a prosecution investigator’s leak of internal investigation information to SPC executives between 2020 and 2023 allegedly in return for monetary and other forms of gifts.

Last month, prosecutors indicted SPC Group’s CEO Hwang Jae-bok under physical detention on charges connected to the investigation.

Prosecutors are likely to seek an additional arrest warrant to extend his custody further, taking into account Hur’s attitude toward the investigation.

This undated file photo shows Hur Young-in, the chairman of bakery giant SPC Group. (Yonhap)

This undated file photo shows Hur Young-in, the chairman of bakery giant SPC Group. (Yonhap)


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