Choi Denies Charges at Controversial Detention Cell Interrogation

Write : 2016-12-27 08:27:08 Update : 2016-12-27 08:57:32

Choi Denies Charges at Controversial Detention Cell Interrogation

Anchor: Members of the National Assembly’s special committee probing the Choi Soo-sil scandal met the prime suspect in her detention cell on Monday. She denied most of the allegations of her influence peddling. Choi's defense counsel criticized the lawmakers for driving his client into a corner.
Kim Bum-soo has more.

Report: As Choi Soon-sil refuses to appear for parliamentary hearings, lawmakers pushed ahead to find her in her detention cell to interrogate her. 

Following the closed-door session at the Seoul Detention Center on Monday, lawmakers said Choi denied most of the allegations against her.

[Sound bite: Rep. Sohn Hye-won - Democratic Party (Korean)]
"She said that she does not know Kim Ki-choon, Woo Byung-woo and Kim Jang-ja. She even denied knowing former senior [presidential] secretary An Chong-bum." 
[Sound bite: Rep. Ha Tae-kyung - Saenuri Party (Korean)]
"She said that she first saw a tablet PC in 2012 and never used it. She said she doesn't know how to [use it]."

The 60-year old prime suspect said that she only uses a laptop and she never used the tablet PC, which allegedly contains evidence of her enormous influence peddling. 

Choi also said that she did not collude with President Park Geun-hye in the fundraising and establishment of the Mir and K-Sports foundations.

She also said that she did not intervene in the appointments of former presidential culture secretary Kim Sang-ryul and former culture minister Kim Jong-deok.

The longtime friend of the president said she is ready for a life sentence as lawmakers said that the people think she deserves such a punishment.

Choi's defense counsel criticized lawmakers for pushing ahead to interrogate her at her detention cell.

[Sound bite: Lee Kyung-jae, Esq. (Korean)]
"She was fundamentally deprived of her right to counsel. She could have been forced to make adverse statements."

With the sixth hearing wrapped up, the parliamentary committee is supposed to file their investigative report by January 15th unless the term for its operation is extended. 
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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