July 18, 2017 11:19
Ex-President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil claimed Monday that prosecutors coerced her daughter into testifying against her in the bribery trial of de facto Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong last week.
During her own trial on Monday, Choi said, "Prosecutors must have threatened and pressured my daughter to leave me behind."
"Prosecutors must reveal what they did to my daughter after taking her away in a car at 2 a.m.," she added.
Earlier, Choi's lawyers showed CCTV footage of Chung leaving her house in Gangnam at around 2 a.m. on July 12, the day of her testimony, and getting into a car of the prosecution team. They claimed a "secret deal" was struck between Chung and prosecutors.
Choi said, "I may be behind bars, but I am her mother, so I asked my lawyers to check the surveillance camera footage. I think prosecutors were wrong to take my child away at 2 a.m. I am having trouble sleeping now."
Chung is a single mother of 21 and suspected of having been a main beneficiary of her mother and the ex-president's alleged extortion racket.
In a surprise appearance in Lee's trial, she testified that her mother told her to "shut up" about billions of won in support from Samsung, flatly contradicting Choi's protestations of innocence.
The Choi family lawyer, Lee Kyung-jae, argued Chung's appearance in court was against the law and her testimony should not be admitted as evidence.
Choi is scheduled to testify in Lee's trial on July 26. Presiding judge Kim Jin-dong told Choi to appear this Friday, but her lawyers said they need more time to get their hands on the transcripts of Chung's testimony and review them.
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