July 10, 2017 12:05
The daughter of ex-President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil has refused to testify in the bribery trial of de facto Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong.
The reason Chung Yoo-ra gave for refusing was that she herself faces trial on charges of taking bribes from Samsung.
Lee is accused of giving W43.3 billion in bribes to Park and Choi, and at least W21.3 billion of that was used to buy a purebred horse and stables for Chung in Germany. She is also accused of being a main beneficiary of other slush funds her mother and Park allegedly extorted.
Chung has been summoned to appear in the trial this Wednesday, but her attorney, Lee Kyung-jae, told reporters by text that she is still under investigation and cannot testify in a case that is "directly related to her criminal trial."
If she continues to ignore the summons, the court could forcibly haul her to the trial.
Prosecutors twice sought arrest warrants for Chung but a court declined both times, saying she presents no flight risk and is unlikely to destroy evidence at this late stage. Since then they have questioned her twice, and it remains to be seen whether they will seek an arrest warrant again.
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