January 26, 2017 11:16
President Park Geun-hye's longtime crony Choi Soon-sil put on another bizarre performance on Wednesday, when she was brought in for questioning by an independent counsel investigating the corruption scandal surrounding them.
Choi was brought in under a fresh arrest warrant after she refused to obey the counsel's summonses six times, claiming she was ill and accusing officials of "repressive investigation."
As soon as Choi reached the lobby of the counsel's office, she started shouting at reporters that she was "being forced to make confessions" and investigators "defamed" her family including her daughter and grandson.
Choi, who is widely seen as the real power behind Park's erratic tenure at Cheong Wa Dae, has previously exhibited signs of mental disturbance, telling reporters after her initial arrest she "deserves death" only to deny all allegations.
Investigators said Choi was silent as she was being driven from her remand prison to the counsel's office in southern Seoul. Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the independent counsel, said her outburst "appears to be intended to tarnish the investigation."
Choi then refused to answer questions from investigators, who focused on allegations that she used her influence to get her daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, admitted to the prestigious Ewha Womans University.
A source said Choi refused to answer all questions she felt were biased against her.
It is unclear whether Choi is having a mental breakdown or whether her antics are a deliberate attempt to stall the investigation in coordination with Park's legal team, who have used the president's impeachment trial for grandstanding and filibustering rather than answering the charges.
Lee told reporters, "We will not be swayed by Choi's groundless comments and proceed with our investigation. Her refusal to answer questions will be used as evidence against her."
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com