http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/s-korea-rasputin-daughter-fights-extradition-in-danish-court/article/490668

Denmark to extradite S.Korea 'Rasputin' daughter

Posted Apr 19, 2017 by AFP
A Danish court on Wednesday ordered the extradition of the daughter of Choi Soon-Sil, the woman at the centre of a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea's president.
People at a railway station in Seoul look at a news report on the arrest of Chung Yoo-Ra (C)  the 20...
People at a railway station in Seoul look at a news report on the arrest of Chung Yoo-Ra (C), the 20-year-old daughter of the woman dubbed South Korea's "Rasputin"
JUNG Yeon-Je, AFP/File

A Danish court on Wednesday ordered the extradition of the daughter of Choi Soon-Sil, the woman at the centre of a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea's president.

Chung Yoo-Ra, the 20-year-old daughter of the woman dubbed South Korea's "Rasputin", is one of the figures in the influence-peddling scandal that led to huge street protests demanding the removal of President Park Geun-Hye.

Chung was detained in Denmark on January 1 for overstaying her visa, after South Korean authorities issued a warrant for her arrest.

Seoul then sought her extradition, which the Danish public prosecution authority approved on March 17. Chung then took her case against extradition to the Aalborg district court.

"The district court confirms decision from the Director of Public Prosecutions. Ms. Chung is to be extradited," the prosecution authority wrote on Twitter.

Prosecution spokesman Simon Gosvig told AFP that Chung, who has denied any wrongdoing, had immediately filed an appeal with the court in Aalborg.

An equestrian who has reportedly bought horses and trained in Denmark in the past, she has told police she was in Denmark because of her involvement in the sport.

Chung's mother, a confidante of Park's, is accused of using her influence to secure her daughter's admission to an elite Seoul university, with a state probe revealing that the school had admitted her at the expense of better-qualified candidates.

- Luxurious lifestyle -

Defense lawyer Michael Juul Eriksen is interviewed outside the Court of Aalborg  Denmark
Defense lawyer Michael Juul Eriksen is interviewed outside the Court of Aalborg, Denmark
Mikkel Berg Pedersen, Scanpix Denmark/AFP

The revelation touched a raw nerve in education-obsessed South Korea. Several professors at Ewha Womans University, including a former school president, have been investigated for allegedly giving Chung preferential treatment.

A South Korean special prosecutor is also probing allegations that Chung's mother used millions of dollars of bribes from Samsung, South Korea's largest conglomerate, to finance her daughter's equestrian career and luxurious lifestyle in Europe.

Prior to Wednesday's hearing, Chung's lawyer Michael Juul Eriksen told Danish news agency Ritzau he would argue that his client had not committed any crime and that the extradition was politically motivated.

"We will argue that the conditions have not been met for extradition," he said.

"We think this is a political case, and therefore there can be no extradition," he said.

- Massive corruption scandal -

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye was on Monday charged with bribery involving millions of dollars over the massive corruption and influence-peddling scandal that brought her down and which has also implicated top businessmen.

The former leader, already detained at a centre near Seoul, also faces charges of abusing her powers and leaking state secrets.

Park is accused of colluding with her confidante, Chung's mother Choi Soon-sil, who is already on trial for coercing local conglomerates into donating a total of 77.4 billion won ($68 million) to two non-profit foundations.

Choi allegedly used some of the donations for personal gain.