Shocked aide expresses remorse for old friend
The woman at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal that led to the dismissal of President Park Geun-hye was lost for words with remorse yesterday and expressed her sorrow to her old friend and the country, her lawyer said.
Choi Soon-sil, Park’s friend and confidante for decades, heard the news of the dismissal by the constitutional court from her lawyers in a trial hearing at a separate court, said her lawyers Lee Kyung-jae.
“She apologised to the president and the people for making the situation come to this.
“Her feelings are beyond words and we keep her updated as much as we can,” Lee said.
Choi has been charged with pressuring big businesses to pay money to foundations that backed Park’s policy initiatives. She faces additional charges of bribery over what the special prosecutor said was her collusion with Park to take bribes from corporate giant Samsung. She, like Park, has denied wrongdoing.
The Samsung Group, whose chief, Jay Y. Lee, is also facing trial over the scandal, has also denied wrongdoing.
The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said Choi looked stunned when she got news of Park’s dismissal. She sat with an expressionless face and took a sip of water.
Choi is being held alone in a cell and is not allowed contact with other inmates, according to the Seoul Detention Centre, where arrested politicians and corporate chiefs are usually held.
Fellow inmates include Samsung’s Lee.