November 10, 2016 12:10
Prosecutors have found a recording of a phone call in which President Park Geun-hye orders a presidential secretary to show copies of a speech and other confidential Cheong Wa Dae documents to her friend Choi Soon-sil.
The audio file found on Jeong Ho-seong's mobile phone has Park telling him to pass the documents to Choi and find out what she thinks, prosecutors said Wednesday.
In another audio file Jeong tells Park that he "sent" the documents to Choi. When presented with the audio files, Jeong admitted the charges.
Jeong, a Park aide for nearly two decades, initially claimed that he did not know Choi and denied handing over documents to her. He apparently used the auto-record function on his phone to capture phone conversations with the president and Choi.
Prosecutors believe Jeong relied on the recordings because he often got calls late at night when he was half asleep and had to replay them to remember what had been said.
His job at Cheong Wa Dae was to screen all documents being sent to and from Park. A prosecution official said, "Jeong had so much work that he constantly suffered from a lack of sleep and developed a habit of recording phone calls from the president so that he wouldn't miss anything."
That meticulous habit ended up providing prosecutors with key evidence in linking both Jeong and the president to serious offenses.
Meanwhile, prosecutors on Wednesday raided the homes of two other Park's aides who have been working with her for nearly two decades.
Ahn Bong-geun and Lee Jae-man served as presidential secretaries for public relations and administrative affairs, and prosecutors plan to investigate them over similar allegations.
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