Chung Yoo-ra Testifies That Samsung Tried to Cover Up Purchasing Her A Horse

This appears to be the testimony that prosecutors have been spending all these months trying to get out of Chung Yoo-ra:

Chung Yoo-ra makes her unexpected appearance at the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday as a witness in a trial for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. [YONHAP]

Chung made a bombshell revelation on Wednesday on the details of Samsung’s support for her training. Samsung provided her three expensive horses, Salcido, Vitana V and Rausing 1233 in 2015 and 2016. Choi swapped Salcido and Vitana V with Vladimir and Stasha in September, as the first media reports about the scandal began. The independent counsel argued that the trade of the horses was intended to cover up Samsung’s tie to Choi.

Chung testified that Samsung must have known about her mother’s trading of the horses. “I telephoned my equestrian coach, Christian Kamplade, in June and asked him about it,” she said. “He told me that my mother, [former Samsung Electronics president] Park Sang-jin and [former executive director] Hwang Sung-soo met in Copenhagen, Denmark, the day before trading the horses.”

She also said she has an audio recording of the conservation and that a broker for the deal also complained to her in English, “Samsung needs to pay me,” referring to delayed payments.

After the independent counsel discussed Samsung’s claim that Choi unilaterally made a decision to trade the horses without the company’s knowledge or approval, Chung said, “My mother told me that Samsung ordered to change the horses. It makes no sense that they were not aware of it.”

She added, “My mother told me that things will get noisy if word gets out Samsung is supporting just me before other athletes join the program.”

Lawyers representing Lee said Chung was only 18 years old when the deals were signed and she was not involved in the negotiations. Chung probably gave a testimony wanted by the independent counsel in order to avoid another warrant hearing, the lawyers said. The prosecution made two attempts to detain Chung, but both requests were rejected by a local court.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

Really nothing new here because it has long been known that Samsung was sponsoring her equestrian training in return for influence from her mother.  Chung has just confirmed what was already known.

Picture of the Day: Prosecutors Try to Arrest Chung Yoo-ra for A Second Time

Prosecution tries to arrest Choi's daughter second time

Chung Yoo-ra, daughter of a woman on trial on corruption charges that brought down the country’s former president, appears at a Seoul court on June 20, 2017, for deliberation on her arrest writ. The prosecution sought a warrant for Chung’s arrest for the second time after the court rejected the previous request. The prosecution says Chung was aware of the bribes and law violations that her mother, Choi Soon-sil, is accused of, including her illegitimate college admission. Choi was a close associate of former President Park Geun-hye. (Yonhap)

Seoul Court Denies Prosecutors Request to Arrest Chung Yoo-ra

Like I have been saying all along, I saw no evidence that Chung Yoo-ra did anything illegal.  It appeared from the start that the attempts to arrest her were to put pressure on her mom, Choi Soon-sil to cooperate on implicating former President Park in her allegedly corrupt dealings.  With Park currently behind bars and standing trial right now, there is less urgency to use Chung to pressure her mom:

Chung Yoo-ra brought to the district prosecutors office in Seoul. [Chosun Ilbo]

A Seoul court on Saturday rejected a prosecution request for the arrest of a daughter of ousted President Park Geun-hye’s friend at the center of a massive corruption scandal that removed the former leader.

Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Park’s longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, was freed after the court dismissed the prosecution request for her arrest.  [Yonhap]

Chung Yoo-ra Returns to South Korea and Denies Any Knowledge of Mom’s Alleged Criminal Activity

Look who is finally back home:

Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s close friend, speaks at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on May 31, 2017, after being extradited from Denmark a day earlier. The 21-year-old Chung, who had been held at a detention center in the northern Danish city of Aalborg since January, was taken to the prosecutors’ office in Seoul for questioning over allegations she received undue academic and financial favors based on her mother Choi Soon-sil’s ties with the former president. (Yonhap)

The daughter of former President Park Geun-hye’s close friend involved in a corruption scandal returned to South Korea on Wednesday after she was extradited from Denmark where she was in custody for five months.

Chung Yoo-ra, the 21-year-old daughter of Choi Soon-sil, arrived at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, at around 2:40 p.m. She was arrested by local authorities on a flight from Amsterdam where she transferred.

She denied any knowledge of the allegations against her, including inappropriate academic favors and financial support, during a brief news conference at a security area at the airport.

“I don’t know anything about what happened between my mother and the former president but on my personal level, I feel that it is unfair,” she said.

“(People) say that I received all this special treatment, but there isn’t much that I know,” she said. “I keep trying to put the puzzle pieces together, but it does not work all the time.”  [Yonhap]

Here is my favorite line from her interview with the media:

Regarding the university’s decision to revoke her admission, Chung said she “understandably accepts” it.

“I don’t even know what my major is and I never really wanted to go to university, so I don’t have much to say about the nullification of admission,” she said.

It seems the school is really the one at fault here not Chung.  If they were willing to let in Chung based on who her mom is that is the university’s problem.  As far as the alleged criminal activity her mom is accused of I have yet to see any evidence that Chung was in on it.  This all seems like a show to parade her around to the public in handcuffs.  I would not be surprised if later she is quietly released after the media attention dies down.

Danish Authorities Uphold Prosecutor’s Decision to Extradite Chung Yoo-ra Back to South Korea

It looks like Chung Yoo-ra is running out of legal options in Denmark:

A Danish court on Wednesday upheld prosecutors’ decision to extradite Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of impeached former President Park Geun-hye’s friend at the center of a bribery scandal.

But it remains uncertain whether or when Chung will be extradited to Seoul, as she appealed again to a higher court.

Last month, the local prosecutors’ office decided to send Chung, the only daughter of Choi Soon-sil, back to Korea to face an investigation. But she filed an appeal.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

With former President Park impeached and sitting in jail, Chung Yoo-ra is basically just a side show now.

Chung Yoo-ra’s Danish Lawyer Suddenly Dies

As if things couldn’t get any weirder in the Choi Soon-sil corruption case, the Danish lawyer for her daughter suddenly dies:

Peter Martin Blinkenberg / Yonhap

A Danish lawyer defending a Korean woman wanted by Korean prosecutors over the presidential corruption scandal died suddenly on Friday of unknown causes.

Chung Yoo-ra’s lawyer Peter Martin Blinkenberg died on Mar. 17 at his home in Lohals, Langeland, Ekstra Bladet reported.

Blinkenberg, who specializes in financial cases, was trying to keep Chung in Denmark after prosecutors there decided to extradite her to Korea.

The daughter of Choi Soon-sil, an alleged influence-peddler behind impeached Korean President Park Geun-hye, is wanted on charges of receiving kickbacks while attending Ewha Womans University.

These included manipulation of marks and attendance records.

The perks are suspected of having been carried out at Korea’s most prestigious women’s university under the influence of Choi, who is under arrest.

Christian Blinkenberg, the dead lawyer’s brother, told Danish news outlet Borsen that the “unexpected death” came when the father of two teenagers was spending his last day “within the walls of his beloved cottage” in his hometown.  [Korea Times via a reader tip]

You can read more at the link, but his death as expected has people claiming a conspiracy to force Chung to return to Korea by killing her lawyer.  With Park out of office really the fate of Chung is now a sideshow thus no real urgency for her to be extradited now in my opinion.

Danish Authorities Announce that Chung Yoo-ra Will Be Extradited Back to South Korea

It is pretty clear that Danish authorities waited until the political drama concluded in South Korea before decided to send Chung home.  I think this was smart on their part because they protected her from clearly being used as a tool to get a political outcome.  With the impeachment of Park Geun-hye she is now no where near as valuable to the political opposition:

The Danish prosecution said Friday it decided to extradite the daughter of ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s close friend for an investigation into a high-profile scandal that removed Park from office.

“It is the assessment of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that all conditions to extradite a South Korean woman to her home country are met,” the prosecution said in a press release.

Chung Yoo-ra was arrested in the European country’s northern city of Aalborg in January as the Korean investigators put her on a wanted list. It was suspected that she received inappropriate academic and financial favors based on her mother’s close ties with the former leader.

“Chung Yoo-ra has three days to decide whether she will bring the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions before the Danish courts,” the prosecution said. “If that happens, the District Court of Aalborg will be the first instance.”

Chung’s lawyer reportedly informed the Danish prosecution that Chung will appeal the decision.

“We believe this is highly political, and we have a fear that they want her to be able to press the mother,” Peter Martin Blinkenberg was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Danish Court Delays Sending Chung Yoo-ra Back to South Korea

It looks like Chung Yoo-ra the 21-year old daughter of the woman at the heart of the ROK presidential scandal will remain in Denmark a bit longer:

This file photo, taken from a clip on YouTube on Jan. 3, 2017, shows Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Choi Soon-sil at the center of a corruption scandal that has led to South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, holding an interview with Korean reporters at a court in the northern Danish city of Aalborg. (Yonhap)

The Danish prosecution on Tuesday deferred a decision over whether to repatriate the daughter of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s close confidante at the center of a high-profile corruption scandal.

South Korea’s special probe team, led by Independent Counsel Park Young-soo, has requested Denmark to send Chung Yoo-ra, the 21-year-old daughter of Choi Soon-sil, to Seoul so she could be questioned on a series of alleged wrongdoings related to the president.

Chung, who has been held in custody in the European country since last month, has so far refused to voluntarily return home to face a probe.

The Danish prosecution told the South Korean embassy in Copenhagen that it has yet to reach a final decision on the requested repatriation of Chung, and that it needs more time to pore over documents it has received from the independent counsel team.

The Danish prosecution has asked a court to hold deliberations on an extension of Chung’s detention on Wednesday morning. Chung’s detention is set to end at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but I think the continued delays to repatriate Chung is an indication that the evidence against her is pretty weak.

Danish Court Extends Chung Yoo-ra’s Detention to February 22nd

It appears we will not have an answer on whether Denmark will deport Chung Yoo-ra until late February:

A Danish court has allowed the Danish prosecution to keep Choi Soon-sil’s daughter Chung Yoo-ra in custody until February 22nd.

The court in the Danish city of Aalborg made the ruling on Monday, granting the prosecution’s request to extend Chung’s detainment period. She has been at the detention center in Aalborg since her arrest early this month.

Initially, the Danish prosecution was expected to decide by Monday whether or not to repatriate her to South Korea, where she faces a probe by special prosecutors investigating a massive influence-peddling scandal. However, last Friday it requested further materials on Chung’s case from the special prosecutors while seeking the court’s approval to extend her detention.

The Danish prosecution has said it will take some weeks before it finishes the review of the additional documents and reaches a decision on her extradition.   [KBS World Radio]

Overseas Koreans Protest In Front of Danish Detention Center

I guess when it is winter in Denmark there must not be anything better to do then protest outside a detention center:

In front of the detention center where Chung Yoo-ra is held on Jan. 13, a candlelight rally is held demanding her repatriation. About 20 overseas Koreans and locals exclaim, “Yoo-ra, let’s go back to Korea!” [LEE HYUN]

On Jan. 13, there were about 20 overseas Koreans, from places such as Copenhagen, London, and Sweden, gathered with locals carrying candles in front of the detention center in Aalborg. Like the weekly Saturday rallies held in Gwanghwamun square in Seoul, they were picketing, saying, “Yoo-ra, let’s go back to South Korea” and “Instead of pizza, eat some [Korean food].”

At the Aalborg detention center one has the luxury to order in pizza. The individual to first propose a candlelight vigil was an overseas Korean residing in Sweden named Lim Ji-hye.

“Compared to Northern Europe,” she said, “our country is still at a stage where we do not have democracy. I think that this is something we must experience as democratic growing pains.”  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.