Independent Counsel Queries Visa of Choi Soon-sil's Daughter

  • By Park Sang-ki

    January 17, 2017 12:24

    Chung Yoo-ra

    Korea on Monday asked German authorities to check whether the daughter of President Park Geun-hye's longtime crony Choi Soon-sil used a university certificate of attendance to obtain a German visa in August last year.

    The independent counsel investigating the scandal believes that this could expedite the extradition of Chung Yoo-ra, thought to be a major beneficiary of an extortion racket her mother allegedly ran with the connivance of Cheong Wa Dae.

    She has been held in the northern Danish city of Aalborg since she was arrested on Jan. 1. She told reporters the next day that she has a German visa for athletes. Chung is an equestrian.

    The counsel suspects that she used an attendance certificate from Ewha Womans University, where she was admitted under brand-new special rules for equestrians, to get her visa.

    If Germany confirms this, the independent counsel will inform it that she has since been expelled because her attendance records were fake and her admission fraudulent.

    The counsel asked German authorities last week to cancel her Schengen visa, which also allows her to stay in Denmark and elsewhere in the EU. That would remove one more obstacle to her extradition from Denmark.

    A source in the counsel's team said, "It's a little discourteous to ask a country to cancel someone's visa since that is completely at its discretion, but we expect that if German authorities learn that she is no longer a student it will encourage them to take us more seriously."

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