Tablet PC Provides Paper Trail for Choi Soon-sil's Slush Funds

      January 12, 2017 11:52

      Independent counsel Park Young-soo on Wednesday showed reporters a tablet PC with e-mails allegedly exchanged between President Park Geun-hye's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil and Samsung Group.

      The tablet PC, a Samsung Galaxy Tab, was collected for safekeeping by Choi's niece Jang Si-ho, who is also under arrest, when her aunt fled the country.

      Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the independent counsel, said, "We are revealing it because there may be a lot of controversy over its authenticity."

      Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the independent counsel, holds up a tablet PC at a press briefing in Seoul on Wednesday.

      The username in the system is Choi Seo-won, the name Choi gave herself after her divorce in 2014. The spokesman said the Gmail account found on the tablet PC had been used by Choi for a long time.

      The e-mails exchanged between Choi and Samsung staff concern the establishment of Core Sports, a paper company she set up in Germany, allegedly to funnel her slush funds.

      "There was information showing how money from Samsung was taken out of Core Sports and used in Germany, and e-mails related to taxes paid after purchasing real estate in Germany," Lee said.

      Samsung gave Choi W8 billion in September and October 2015, of which W4.3 billion was used to buy a pure-bred dressage horse for her daughter and a house in Germany and to fund their lavish lifestyle there (US$1=W1,196).

      Meanwhile, the independent counsel's team said it received all the records of a previous investigation into former presidential secretary for civil affairs Woo Byung-woo, who is suspected of leading the cover-up.

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