A day after returning to South Korea to face prosecutors investigating allegations she used her friendship with President Park Geun-hye for personal gains, Choi Soon-sil, the 60-year-old daughter of a South Korean religious leader and one-time mentor of Park has been detained.
Choi, the woman at the centre of the political scandal embroiling Park has been placed under emergency detention after prosecutors said she was “unstable” and a flight risk.
She faces allegations of fraud and meddling in state affairs over her decades-long friendship with Park, was questioned for hours on Monday after she returned to the country and handed herself in following mass street protests.
“There is a possibility of Choi trying to destroy evidence as she is denying all the allegations,” a prosecution official told Yonhap news agency, explaining the decision to hold her for 48 hours.
“She has fled overseas in the past, and she doesn’t have a permanent address in this country, making her a flight risk.
“She is also in an extremely unstable psychological state, and it’s possible an unexpected event could occur if she is released.”
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