The high-profile lawyer hired by Yoo Sum-na, the eldest daughter of fugitive ferry owner Yoo Byun-eon, has told French reporters she is the victim of a witch hunt in connection with the ferry disaster on April 16.
Yoo Sum-na was arrested in Paris earlier this week following an extradition request from the Korean government.
Patrick Maisonneuve in a press interview said Yoo is a "sacrificial lamb" for the deadly ferry disaster that killed more than 300 passengers.
He claimed she is innocent of embezzlement charges that are the ostensible reason for her arrest, saying she only gained control of an affiliate of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine in 2008, four years after the alleged wrongdoings took place.
Maisonneuve, who began his legal practice in 1979, has become famous for taking on widely reviled high-profile clients that other lawyers have shunned.