Key Witness in Impeachment Trial Missing

  • By Park Sang-ki

    January 16, 2017 12:06

    Koh Young-tae

    Another key witness in the impeachment trial of President Park Geun-hye has disappeared. The Constitutional Court on Sunday said it failed to deliver a subpoena to Koh Young-tae, a colorful erstwhile associate of Park‘s longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.

    The court decided last Tuesday to call Koh as a witness but had to turn to the police to track him down. "Even the police are having a tough time finding him," a court official said. "Koh is a key witness, so we will do everything we can to locate him."

    Koh, a one-time gigolo who graduated to designing Park’s knockoff handbags and ill-fitting trouser suits, had previously been more than cooperative.

    Koh and Choi fell out in 2014, prompting him to go to TV Chosun to spill the beans about the close ties between Choi and Park. In a National Assembly hearing on Dec. 7, Koh agreed with lawmakers that Choi was "the most powerful person in the nation."

    But in several media interviews after that, he began to sound confused and then he slipped off the radar, failing to show up in another hearing on Dec. 22. This has given rise to speculation that Choi's or Park's people got to him.

    Son Hye-won, a lawmaker for the opposition Minjoo Party, said on her Facebook page Saturday, "Koh no longer wanted to face the world and vowed to stop doing things that violate his privacy. He can't be convinced otherwise and he won't answer his phone."

    She said he is still in Seoul.

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