December 29, 2016 09:37
Investigators on Wednesday raided the homes and clinics of doctors who are suspected of providing unsupervised treatments to President Park Geun-hye.
They include Kim Young-jae, a plastic surgeon who has been close to Park's longtime friend Choi Soon-sil for years, and Kim Sang-man, a doctor formerly employed by the luxury Chaum clinic in Gangnam, who prescribed rejuvenating shots for Park under an alias from 2011 to 2014.
Investigators also raided the Chaum clinic and the home and office of Seoul National University Hospital President Suh Chang-suk, who was Park's official doctor from 2014 until earlier this year.
Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the independent counsel investigating the crony scandal, said Suh is suspected of turning a blind eye to the quack treatments the president was allegedly addicted to. He is also accused of helping Kim Young-jae get a job at SNUH in July despite his lack of credentials.
The doctors are believed to be in a position to shed light on the president's whereabouts in the notorious "missing seven hours," when Park was nowhere to be found during the 2014 ferry disaster.
Rumors so far say Park was receiving some kind of cosmetic procedure or had been put under with the knockout drug Propofol, which was enjoying a bizarre celebrity vogue at the time.
The mystery is among the main reasons lawmakers are seeking to have her impeached, charging her with inaction while rescue efforts went badly awry and over 300 people, mostly teenagers, died.
The independent counsel has established a separate team to investigate Park's whereabouts during the sinking.
Cheong Wa Dae claims Park was somehow invisibly on duty during these hours and was briefed nine times over the phone and 13 times in writing. The independent counsel will question every person who claims to have spoken to Park on the phone or seen her.
According to Cheong Wa Dae she spoke seven times to Kim Jang-soo, who was national security chief at the time, and once each with senior secretary Choi Won-young and ex-maritime police chief Kim Seok-kyun.
Choi has already told investigators that he spoke with Park on his "office-use mobile phone" that day and noticed nothing unusual about her.
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