Seoul prosecutors to decide on possible charges against Choi Soon-sil

Seoul prosecutors to decide on possible charges against Choi Soon-sil

August 14, 2019 0 By Kailee Schamberger


Now that Choi Soon-sil has been brought in
for questioning, prosecutors will be deciding what to charge her with. And with the list of allegations long, the
possible list of charges is also substantial. Kwon Jang-ho breaks it down for us. The speculative list of charges against Choi
Soon-sil has grown in recent days, as revelations about her connections with President Park
Geun-hye come to light. But the initial allegations started with the
roles she played in the establishment of two non-profit organizations. On September 20th, Korean media reported that
Choi was the figure behind the the Mir and K-Sports foundations, which were aimed at
supporting cultural and sports projects. The foundations, which were set up less than
a year ago, were suspected of having received help from the presidential office to get quick
government approval and win financial support from some of Korea’s biggest conglomerates
to the tune of 70 million U.S. dollars,… which Choi is suspected to have used for herself. As public and media scrutiny intensified,
another news outlet revealed that Choi’s relationship with President Park might have been even closer
than suspected. She was alledged to have edited Park’s speeches
and was considered a close advisor. These allegations were strengthened when the
news outlet revealed that a tablet device was found during their investigation of the
foundations, and that the device contained early drafts of President Park’s speeches. The next day, President Park gave an unprecedented
public apology. Since then, a special investigation team of
prosecutors have been formed to investigate the matter. There are several charges that Choi could
be hit with, the most serious two of which are embezzlement of the foundations’ funds…
and violating the presidential records management act. Those would carry a maximum prison sentence
of 5 or 7 years, respectively. “Of course the individuals at the Presidential
office who leaked the documents will need to take responsiblitity for violating the
Presidential Records Management Act, but the investigation will look at how much influence
Choi Soon-sil had and then decide whether to charge her as an accomplice or a bystander
who received the documents.” If prosecutors decide that Choi should be
charged, they’ll also have the power to arrest her without a warrant. Kwon Jang-Ho, Arirang News.