Danish authorities arrest daughter of confidante to S. Korean president | News | DW | 02.01.2017
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Danish authorities arrest daughter of confidante to S. Korean president

South Korean authorities are planning to request the extradition of equestrian athlete Chung Yoo-ra. She is wanted for questioning amid an ongoing graft probe that led to the impeachment of the country's president.

Chung Yoo-ra was apprehended in the northern city of Aalborg, Danish police confirmed on Monday. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, she was arrested for overstaying her visa.

Chung is the 20-year-old daughter of one of the central figures in a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea's President Park Geun-hye. Her mother Choi Soon-sil, dubbed South Korea's "Rasputin," is accused of meddling in state affairs and gaining access to official documents with Park's help.

Chung was a former member of the South Korean national equestrian team and previously trained in Germany. There are accusations the training was indirectly financed by Samsung.

She allegedly received special treatment while at the notorious Ewha Womans University in Seoul. One professor was arrested over the weekend for allegedly giving Chung a good grade for a class Chung had not attended.

Südkorea Verfassungsgericht Choi Soon Sil (picture-alliance/dpa/Yonhap)

Chung's mother, Choi Soon-sil (pictured) is one of the central figures in a South Korean corruption scandal. She is believed to be the mastermind behind a plot to pressure companies into donating millions to foundations linked to the president

South Korea had requested Interpol to look for Chung Yoo-ra after she failed to return to face questions regarding an ongoing, intricate scandal that led to Park's impeachment.

Chung faces several charges in South Korea and authorities were working to invalidate her passport. A source in the South Korean special prosecutors' office said they would work with European authorities to extradite Chung.

Lee Kyung-jae, a lawyer representing both Choi and Chung, vowed to ensure her cooperation once she returned to South Korea, Yonhap reported on Monday. 

According to South Korean police, Danish authorities were holding three people in custody, including a child born in 2015. It is not known if Chung and the child are related.

Park may become South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be forced to leave office after parliament passed a vote to impeach her on December 9. The decision must still be confirmed by the Constitutional Court, which has up to six months to find a ruling. If the impeachment is confirmed, a presidential election will be held within the 60 days following confirmation.

kbd/kms (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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South Korean President Park impeached in parliamentary vote

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