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Choi Soon-sil

Samsung leader named a suspect in South Korea political probe

SEOUL: A South Korean special prosecutor's office will question Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee as a suspect in a widening influence-peddling scandal that may force President Park Geun-hye from office. Prosecutors have been looking into whether Samsung payments of about 30 billion won ($25 million) for a business and foundations backed by Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, were connected to a 2015 decision by the national pension fund to back a controversial merger of two group affiliates. Park could become South Korea's…

Friend of South Korea’s Park denies charges as trial begins

SEOUL: A friend of South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the centre of a corruption scandal that led to Park's impeachment in parliament denied charges of fraud and abuse of power on Monday on the first day of her trial. The friend, Choi Soon-sil, 60, who had not appeared in public since arriving at a prosecutors' office on Oct. 31, was led into court by two correctional officers, her head down, wearing a bulky grey prison suit with a number on her chest. She is charged with pressuring big businesses to pay money to…