Prosecutors in Deepening Standoff with Cheong Wa Dae

      November 22, 2016 13:19

      Prosecutors on Monday said they remain intent on questioning President Park Geun-hye in a snowballing crony scandal as it become clearer that Park has no intention to comply.

      "We will proceed with the case according to the law and won't be swayed by Cheong Wa Dae's comment," a prosecution official told reporters Monday.

      Lee Young-ryeol, who heads the special investigation team, tells reporters at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Sunday.

      Prosecutors on Saturday name Park as an accomplice in the indictments of her close friend Choi Soon-sil and two longtime aides for corruption and abuse of authority, but Cheong Wa Dae officials rejected the charges as "imagination and conjecture."

      The prosecution spokesman said investigators have secured all necessary evidence and have no political motive.

      Prosecutors still want to question Park in person, but her lawyer on Sunday made it clear she will not agree to that, and Cheong Wa Dae officials hinted that she may sit out impeachment proceedings rather than surrender her presidential immunity now.

      The prosecution now has little choice but to keep amassing evidence until the whole probe is handed over to an independent counsel.

      "We're still working on probe of conglomerates on charges of bribery" in massive donations to Choi's Mir and K-Sports foundations," the prosecution official said.

      Asked whether any charges will be added to the indictments, he said, "That possibility remains since the investigation of President Park hasn’t even got started."

      Park is so far being treated as an accomplice but could yet become a prime suspect.

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