February 06, 2017 10:57
Koh Young-tae, a colorful drinking buddy of President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil, is poised to testify in Choi's criminal trial on Monday.
Koh, an inept apparel designer and one-time gigolo, was a director in a paper company called The Blue K that Choi ran in Seoul, and allegedly helped her meddle in government and pocket huge slush funds.
But their relationship soured in 2014, and Koh turned whistleblower by handing over video footage to TV Chosun showing Choi bossing around Cheong Wa Dae officials at a clothes shop in Gangnam that supply Park's drab wardrobe for overseas visits.
Questioned in Park's impeachment trial last month, Choi accused Koh of making false accusations against her and taking the video footage to tarnish her image.
Park's lawyers have sought to portray the scandal as the fallout of a lover's tiff between Choi and Koh, in which the president played no role.
Koh recently disappeared from the radar amid rumored pressure from Park's camp and other suspects, giving rise to fears that something happened to him.
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