S. Korean presidential scandal escalates amid mass protests
SEOUL, South Korea — The influence-peddling scandal that has prompted calls for President Park Geun-hye to resign escalated Sunday, with prosecutors accusing her of collusion.
The president’s lawyer rejected the investigation results, calling them “imagination and conjecture.”
The dramatic developments came a day after hundreds of thousands of South Koreans poured into the streets of Seoul for the fourth weekend in a row, waving plastic candles and chanting “Park step down.”
Park is accused of letting longtime friend Choi Soon-sil — daughter of a late cult leader — wield undue influence over everything from government policies to her wardrobe choices.
Sunday’s allegations against Park came as Choi, 60, was formally indicted on charges including abuse of authority, coercion, attempted coercion and attempted fraud, according to the Yonhap news agency.
She’s suspected of using her presidential ties to persuade dozens of companies, including Samsung and Hyundai, to donate more than $65 million to two nonprofit foundations she controlled.
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