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Choi Soon-sil (center), a confidant of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, appears at the Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office for questioning on October 31, 2016 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Woohae Cho/Getty Images)

Abuse of power?

South Korean woman embroiled in national scandal tells reporters she ‘deserves death’

October 31, 2016

A woman at the center of a national scandal in South Korea broke down in front of reporters on Monday, saying, “Please, forgive me,” and adding that “I committed a sin that deserves death.” The scandal erupted last week when prosecutors investigating Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a cult leader, revealed she’s had close ties with the country’s president Park Geun-hye for decades and that Choi has allegedly used her influence with Park behind the scenes to amass a large fortune over the years.

Choi was mobbed by news reporters and TV cameras, and protesters screaming “arrest Choi Soon-sil” and “Park Geun-hye should resign,” as she arrived for questioning at the prosecutor’s office in Seoul. The throng of people was so intense, Choi was nearly knocked off her feet several times, as she was escorted into the building. She wore a hat and a scarf and, seemingly overwhelmed by the commotion, put her hands over her mouth as she made brief statements to the press. Choi had just returned from Germany and this was her first public appearance since the scandal erupted last week.

Park Geun-hye took office in February 2013, becoming the nation’s first woman president. The allegations are threatening her presidency and, amid calls for her resignation and impeachment, Park ordered 10 of her top senior aides to step down over the weekend, according to CNN.

According to reports, Choi is accused of using her close ties with Park to pressure business into donating millions to a pair of nonprofits controlled by Choi. Investigators say Choi then used some of the funds, as much as $70 million, to enrich herself. Watch the video below for more on the story.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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