South Korea prosecutors raid Samsung offices in Park political scandal probe


South Korean prosecutors have raided Samsung Electronics offices as a part of a probe in the scandal involving President Park Geun-hye. There are allegations the company may have given millions to the president’s friend.

Prosecutors raided Samsung offices on Tuesday as a part of a probe in an ongoing scandal involving South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

Prosecutors are looking into an allegation that Samsung might have given 2.8 million euros ($3.1 million) to Park’s friend, Choi Soon-Sil, in order to finance Choi’s daughter’s equestrian training. Choi’s daughter was previously a member of the South Korean national equestrian team and trained in Germany.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said, “we’re searching Samsung Electronics offices,” without adding any further details. Samsung Electronics and Samsung Group made no comment.

Choi is alleged to have used her closeness to Park in order to gain significant influence over the South Korean government, despite not having any official governmental role. Park has publicly apologized twice for the scandal. Her approval rating stands at just 5 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Friday. It is the lowest mark since polling began in 1988.

Prime Minister to be proposed by parliament

Park agreed to withdraw her prime minister nominee in the face of opposition in parliament on Tuesday.

Park nominated a liberal candidate outside of her conservative Saenuri Party, but the opposition said they would reject her choice because they felt they were not consulted properly. It is the only cabinet position that requires parliamentary approval.

Park said she would confirm a different candidate brought forth by opposition MPs. “If the National Assembly recommends a new premier, I will appoint him and let him control the cabinet,” Park said.

Tens of thousands rallied in Seoul on Saturday, demanding Park be removed from office.

In an attempt to calm opposition and public anger over a corruption scandal, Park said on Tuesday she is withdrawing her nominee for prime minister, saying parliament should recommend its own candidate. The president last week nominated the liberal Kim Byong Joon for prime minister.

kbd/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)


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