Will prosecutors seek warrant for Chung Yoo-ra?

Updated By on Aug 02, 2017, 09:00 am
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By AsiaToday reporter Heo Gyeong-joon

Two months have passed since Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, the confidante of the former President, was repatriated from Denmark.

In the meantime, the prosecution tried to secure Chung's whereabouts by requesting an arrest warrant twice, but failed to do so. The prosecution's plan to figure out how Samsung Group gave support for Chung's equestrian training was also neutralized.

This is a poor result considering the fact that the special probe team at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, which is consisted of specialists, did its best endeavors by summoning Chung for questioning five times.

There has been a talk that the prosecution may make a bold decision by requesting Chung's arrest for the third time. However, it has not made much progress since Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong gave unfavorable testimony against Choi at the trial on July 12.

Some in the legal circles claimed Tuesday that the atmosphere of the prosecution has changed as Chung showed a cooperative attitude to the investigative team of Special Prosecutor Park Young-soo. They claimed that the prosecution decided to charge Chung without detention.

A, a former prosecutor and a current attorney, said, "The prosecution was thinking about requesting an arrest warrant for Chung for the third time before Lee Jae-yong appeared in court as a witness. However, now it seems that they are going to charge her without detention."

When Chung was sent back to South Korea, the prosecution saw her as the starting point of the reinvestigation of "Choi Soon-sil gate." However, after the Blue House discovered documents containing key evidence to identify the corruption that brought down the Park administration, the prosecution secured a good reason for further investigations.

In addition, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) confirmed the fact that the Korea Customs Service (KCS) arbitrarily changed the scoring system in July and November 2015 when it evaluated duty-free store operators in Seoul, and asked the prosecutors for probe. The duty-free licensing scam is closely related to the case of state affairs monopolization.

The fact that the special probe team is in charge of the Blue House document trove and the illegal bidding case for duty-free shops is one of the reasons behind tardy judicial process of Chung.

For this reason, the prosecution has no need to push a compulsory investigation for Chung, which could work as a burden on the prosecution.
 
An official of the prosecution said, "There is a lot of data that we are still reviewing, and nothing is decided yet."

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