South Korean official charged in widening government corruption scandal - Kogonuso


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Dec 31, 2016

South Korean official charged in widening government corruption scandal

Amy R. Connolly
Moon Hyung-pyo, chief of the National Pension Service (NPS) and former welfare minister, leaves the prosecution office in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 25, 2016, after undergoing overnight questioning over suspicions that South Korean President Park Geun-hye pressured the pension fund to back Samsung Group's high-profile merger of two key units last year in return for Samsung's favors to Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil. Photo by Yonhap/European Pressphoto Agency
A former South Korean cabinet minister was arrested Saturday in the widening government corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her confidante, Choi Soon-sil.
Moon Hyung-pyo is alleged to have ordered the country's National Pension Service to back a merger between Samsung's construction subsidiary Samsung C&T and an affiliate business, Cheil Industries, when he was health and welfare minister in 2015. Moon is currently the chairman of the pension fund.
Moon denied the allegations in a November court hearing, but on Saturday the court allowed a special prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant on charges of abusing power.
If found true, Park, Choi and Samsung could also face charges.
Choi has already been charged with coercion and attempted fraud, and is suspected of using her non-appointed, non-elected position as Park's confidante to obtain favors from businesses and the government. The allegations have angered the South Korean public, and Park has been urged to resign.
Ed Adamczyk contributed to this report.


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