BREAKING/Daughter of woman at the centre of South Korean presidential scandal tried to buy Maltese citizenship

Published: June 20, 2017 at 5:44pm

Prosecutors in South Korea have said that Chung Yoo-Ra, whose mother Choi Soon-sil is the woman at the centre of a massive scandal that has seen the president of that country, Park Geun-hye, forcibly removed from office with a move for impeachment, has tried to buy Maltese citizenship to escape justice back home.

The prosecutors say that her attempt to buy Maltese citizenship was made while she was under detention in Denmark for entering the country illegally. Last month, Ms Chung was extradited to South Korea from Denmark, in connection with the massive corruption scandal centring on her mother, a close friend of the ousted president, who lived in luxury through corruption linked with the head of state.

Ms Chung herself stands accused of receiving preferential treatment at Ewha Woman’s University and illegal sponsorship from Samsung for her equestrian training, because of her mother’s close association with the president. Prosecutors are now seeking to arrest Ms Chung and hold her on remand, but their request has not been upheld by the Korean courts.

It was Ms Chung herself who admitted to the prosecutors that she had tried to buy Maltese citizenship, but then could not muster the €650,000 she was required to pay. The Korean prosecutors, however, say that they believe Ms Chung abandoned that plan not because she did not have the money to pay for it, but because she discovered that she could still be extradited.

At a court hearing scheduled today in Seoul, the South Korean capital, prosecutors were set to use evidence of Ms Chung’s attempts to buy Maltese citizenship to have her classed as a flight risk, thereby requiring detention.

Her mother, Mrs Choi, is on trial alongside former president Mrs Park,on charges of trading in influence and taking ‘donations’ of large sums of money from Samsung and other firms, supposedly for Ms Chung’s equestrian training.

Chung Yoo Ra, whose mother is on trial in Seoul alongside her friend the former president Park, tried to buy Maltese citizenship to escape justice in her own country.

Protestors in Seoul wear masks depicting the faces of Mrs Park and Mrs Choi