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    Former presidential secretary Woo Byung-woo attends a hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016.

    Former South Korean Presidential Aide Questioned Over Corruption Scandal

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    Former South Korean Senior Secretary for Civil Affairs Woo Byung-woo faced questioning on Saturday by the special prosecutors' team, which is investigating the corruption scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye, according to the former presidential aide, as cited by local media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The former presidential aide is facing charges of abuse of authority and dereliction of duty over allegations of assisting the president's friend Choi Soon-sil and using his authority to demote or remove officials attempting to impede Choi, who is herself under investigation of corruption and influence peddling.

    "I will faithfully respond to prosecutors' questions," Woo told reporters at the special prosecutors' office in Seoul, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

    The prosecution also team suspects Woo of involvement in the dismissal of former presidential inspector Lee Seok-soo, after he looked into the Mir and K-Sports foundations controlled by Choi.

    Woo is also expected to be questioned on allegations of embezzlement and using his influence to secure a position for his son during the latter's military service.

    Political scandal around the South Korean president broke out in late October 2016, when media reported that Park had allowed her friend Choi, who held no official post, to edit her speeches and influence the country's policy. Choi is also accused of pressuring South Korean corporations and extorting money from them for her non-commercial funds.

    On December 9, the South Korean parliament voted to impeach the president in the wake of the scandal. The court has six months to decide upon the validity of the impeachment. If proved valid, presidential elections will be held within two months.


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    corruption, Choi Soon-sil, Park Geun-hye, South Korea
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