Investigators want to search South Korean presidential residence

Seoul, Dec 16 (IANS) Officials of the independent team investigating the ‘Korean Rasputin’ corruption scandal on Friday sought permission to search the South Korean president’s official residence.

After examining the evidence provided by the public prosecutors on the corruption scandal that implicates President Park Geun-hye, the investigators concluded it was necessary to search the Presidential Blue House, Efe news agency quoted an official as saying at a press conference here.

A local daily reported that Blue House officials rejected the possibility of searching the Presidential office due to reasons of national security, but have provided the documents demanded by the public prosecutors.

The South Korean Parliament approved a motion last week to impeach Park and it is now up to the Constitutional Court to accept or reject the decision, a process that could take up to six months.

The public prosecutor’s office had named Park as an accomplice of Choi Soon-sil, dubbed the “Korean Rasputin” in a corruption scandal.

Choi, Park’s close friend, now in custody, allegedly meddled in state affairs despite not holding any public office and received substantial sums of money from large South Korean companies, which she appropriated for her personal use.