20 March 2017
Former President Park Geun-hye has been summoned by the National Assembly’s special investigation committee on Tuesday (tomorrow) for questioning on influence-peddling during her presidency. The investigation committee consists of nine from the ruling Saenuri party and nine from opposition groups. They will question her about monies given to foundations controlled by Park’s friend Choi Soon-sil.
Street protests against Former President Park Geun-hye continues, but unlike the previous angry demonstrations, the protesters are in festive mood singing songs and dancing.
On Saturday, the chairman of the SK Group, Chey Tae Won, was questioned on whether he paid any bribe to have his four-year prison term for embezzlement commuted in 2015. Three SK executives were also questioned on Thursday. The SK Group is South Korea’s third-largest chaebol (large family-owned business conglomerate).
Jay Y. Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., and the son and the probable successor of 74-year-old Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, is in detention on charges of bribery and embezzlement. Jay Y. Lee had sought Park’s help in the controversial merger between Samsung C&T Corp. and Cheil Industries Inc. last year. The merger was approved by the National Pension Service which is the biggest outside shareholder of Samsung Electronics. The merger enabled him to secure his number one position in Samsung Group.
Others who are likely to be questioned are – Chung Mong-koo, head of Hyundai Motor Group, LG’s Chairman, Koo Bon-moo, Hanhwa Group’s Chairman, Kim Seung-youn, Hanjin’s Chairman, Cho Yang-ho, Sohn Kyung-shik at CJ Group, and Huh Chang-soo, head of GS Group. Street protesters are demanding enquiry into the chaebols.