Cha Eun-taek, a key figure of Choi scandal, arrested at airport

 

 

Prosecutors arrested Cha Eun-taek at Incheon International Airport late Tuesday for questioning over the influence-peddling scandal surrounding Choi Soon-sil, a close confidante of President Park Geun-hye.

Cha was returning from China as prosecutors have been widening their probe into his role in the Choi scandal.

 

“I am very sorry,” Cha said at the airport, surrounded by investigators. Asked about whether he had a relationship with President Park, Cha said, “I met her at official events, but never one on one.”

He was transported to the prosecutor’s office in Seoul for questioning.

Cha, who has close ties with Choi, allegedly meddled in state-led projects and exerted undue influence in the culture sector.

 

Cha has been called the “crown prince” in the local cultural scene, with the backing of the president’s friend Choi. Cha’s professor and uncle were appointed culture minister and senior presidential secretary for culture and education, respectively.

The on-the-spot arrest of Cha came as investigators stepped up their inquiry into allegations that Choi’s associates, including Cha, interfered with various cultural projects for their personal gain.

One of Cha’s close associates is Song Sung-gak, the former chief of the state-run Korea Creative Content Agency. Song was arrested late Monday night on suspicion he pressured a medium-sized ad company to hand over its shares to a third party.

 

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20161108000965

Prosecutiors raid Samsung over Choi scandal

South Korea prosecutors raided the headquarters of Samsung Group on Tuesday to investigate the extent to which the conglomerate was implicated in a political scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil.

Around 20 investigators searched the office of Park Sang-jin, who is chief of Samsung Electronics and chairman of the Korea Equestrian Federation, and the offices of other executives located in the company’s Seocho office building that is the group’s headquarters. This is the first raid of the group’s building in eight years.

The offices of Samsung’s heir apparent Lee Jae-yong and the control-tower Samsung Future Strategy Office are also located in the building.

The probe came after reports that Samsung gave 2.8 million euros ($3.1 million) to a company called Widec Sports owned by Choi and her daughter Chung Yoo-ra. The money was allegedly used to buy a horse for the horse rider Chung. The state-run Korea Racing Authority was also raided on the same day on suspicion of providing support to Chung.

“We will faithfully cooperate with the investigators,” a Samsung official said, making no further comments.

 

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20161108000777