Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for associate of ex-President Park’s friend

April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) — Prosecutors on Thursday sought an arrest warrant for a former associate of ousted President Park Geun-hye’s close friend who made bombshell revelations last year on a corruption scandal involving the disgraced ex-leader.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office applied for the write against Ko Young-tae on charges that he received some 20 million won (US$17,400) from an official at the Incheon-based customs office in exchange for exerting influence on personnel issues.

The prosecution also accused him of failing to return 80 million won to someone that he borrowed for stock investment, and of co-running an illegal online gambling site and investing some 200 million won into the business.

Investigators put Ko into custody on Tuesday evening with a court-issued warrant that allows his detention for up to 48 hours. Ko’s legal representatives asked a court to review the legality of his detention, but the court dismissed the request without elaborating.

A court hearing on the request for the writ is expected to be held as early as Friday.

Ko, who made some clothing items and bags for Park, revealed the controversial relationship between Park and Choi last year, claiming that Choi received and edited the ex-president’s speeches in advance. Choi had no policy experience nor did she hold any official post in the Park administration.

While Ko was praised by some as a whistleblower, others raised suspicions that he made the revelations to gain control of a company owned by Choi.

Ko Young-tae, a former associate of former President Park Geun-hye's close friend Choi Soon-sil, appears at a local court in Seoul on April 13, 2017. (Yonhap)

Ko Young-tae, a former associate of former President Park Geun-hye’s close friend Choi Soon-sil, appears at a local court in Seoul on April 13, 2017. (Yonhap)

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