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Top court summons ex-health minister over controversial Samsung merger

All Headlines 14:55 February 09, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- A former health minister arrested over a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye was summoned to her impeachment trial Thursday to testify on a controversial merger between two Samsung affiliates.

Moon Hyung-pyo, who served as minister from 2013 to 2015, was brought to the 12th hearing at the Constitutional Court to face questioning on allegations the conglomerate bribed Park in exchange for the government's backing of the 2015 merger between Samsung C&T Corp. and Cheil Industries Inc.

Moon is under arrest on charges of pressuring the National Pension Service, a key shareholder of Samsung C&T Corp., to agree to the merger. In return, Samsung is suspected of offering large "donations" to two nonprofit foundations linked to Park's friend Choi Soon-sil.

The former minister and current NPS chief has admitted to the charge against him. However, he denied during the hearing that he acted on Park's orders.

The court has until early June to decide whether to unseat or reinstate the president who was impeached in December over a massive corruption and influence-peddling scandal involving her and Choi.

Former Health Minister Moon Hyung-pyo (C) arrives at the Constitutional Court in Seoul on Feb. 9, 2017, to testify at President Park Geun-hye's impeachment trial. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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